Victorians Pause To Remember Our Vietnam Veterans At Gravesite Vigils

Victorians will honour the sacrifice of our Vietnam veterans at simultaneous gravesite vigils around the state on Sunday.

Minister for Veterans John Eren today encouraged Victorians to pay their respects at one of the participating gravesites – and honour the bravery of our veterans and the hardships and trauma they faced.

The Vietnam War was Australia’s longest military engagement of the 20th century. Some 60,000 Australians fought in the war, including 10,500 Victorians. More than 500 soldiers never returned home.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan, where 108 brave young men from D Company 6 RAR resisted an attack of more than 1500 Viet Cong soldiers. It would become one of the most extraordinary chapters in Australia’s military history.

Victorians will pause at noon at one of 35 location where 98 veterans are interred. More than 1000 family members are expected to attend and pay their own personal respects.

Gravesite vigils will be held at sites including the Springvale Botanical Cemetery, the Fawkner Crematorium and Memorial Park, and at regional locations including Bendigo, Benalla and Mildura.

The Vietnam Veterans Association of Australia and the Andrews Labor Government are working together to deliver a thoughtful program of activities to commemorate the 50thanniversary of the Battle of Long Tan.

Initiatives planned include a national cycling event beginning in Seymour and ending in Canberra, and a Vietnam Veterans Day march and commemorative service at the Shrine of Remembrance.

Gravesite vigils begin at noon on Sunday. A full list of participating cemeteries can be found on the next page.

For more information about the program of commemorations visit www.vic.gov.au/victoriaremembers/vietnam

Quotes attributable to Minister for Veterans John Eren

“Our Vietnam veterans deserve the greatest respect, and these poignant vigils will give their service the fitting commemoration it deserves.”

“All Victorians have a connection to our wartime history. This is an opportunity to pay tribute to a decisive moment in our nation’s story.”

Quotes attributable to VVAA Victorian Branch President Bob Elworthy

“They died young. They did not get the chance to enjoy the life that we have lived or enjoy the wonderful mateship we share. It’s right and proper that we honour them.”

“The gravesite vigils are an important commemorative event to honour the hardships, difficulties and trauma of the Vietnam War, but also to honour those who fought and lived with determination, resilience, mateship and valour.”

Participating Cemeteries

  • Beechworth Cemetery
  • Benalla Cemetery
  • Bendigo Remembrance Park
  • Box Hill Cemetery
  • Brighton General Cemetery
  • Burwood Cemetery
  • Camperdown Cemetery
  • Cheltenham Memorial Cemetery
  • Cobden Cemetery
  • Crib Point Cemetery
  • Dromana Cemetery
  • Eltham Cemetery
  • Fawkner Crematorium and Memorial Park
  • Harcourt Cemetery
  • Hazelwood Cemetery
  • Horsham Cemetery
  • Kangaroo Flat Remembrance Park
  • Kaniva Cemetery
  • Keilor Cemetery
  • Lilydale Memorial Park
  • Mansfield Public Cemetery
  • Maryborough Cemetery
  • Marysville Public Cemetery
  • Merbein Cemetery
  • Mildura Cemetery Nichols Point
  • Mitta Mitta Cemetery
  • Shepparton Cemetery
  • Springvale Botanical Cemetery
  • Tatura Cemetery
  • Altona Memorial Park
  • Traralgon Cemetery – Gippsland Memorial Park
  • Wangaratta Cemetery
  • Western Suburbs Cemetery (Altona)
  • Western Suburbs Lawn Cemetery (Altona)
  • White Hills Remembrance Park

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