18th August 2023.
Vietnam Veterans Commemoration Services – The 50th Anniversary since the end of Australia's involvement in the Vietnam War.
Thank you everyone and it's an honour to speak to you all briefly at this commemoration of the Vietnam War.
A War that due to no action of any Australian soldier that was steeped in controversy and politics, one which veterans have for nearly two generations had little recognition.
Today we know those who went to Vietnam were not motivated by the larger political movements between the United States and Soviet Union and they did not deserve the treatment they had. Nearly 60,000 Australians served in Vietnam with 3000 wounded and 521 killed, in addition the suffering of mental health would remain for many.
Fifty years have passed since the end of Australia’s involvement in the War. The largest Australian involvement in military engagement in the 20th century. Since this time Australia has come a long way in recognising the sacrifice given by Australians for a nation far from shore.
Today is all about honouring those veterans and I wish to join and speak on behalf of Wollondilly and say thank you. We honour those today who lost their lives during battle; those who returned home wounded, ill or injured; those who lost their lives in the years since they returned; and those who still carry the physical and emotional scars of their service.
Thank you and lest we forget.