Vietnam Veterans Memorial Day
Cenotaph, Martin Place
Tuesday 18 August, 11am
1300 679 775
Vietnam Veterans Memorial Day is commemorated every year on the 18th August.
On this day in 1966, 108 Australian and New Zealand soldiers fought a pitched battle against over 2,000 North Vietnamese and Viet Cong troops in a rubber plantation not far from the small village of Long Tan. The Australians prevailed, but only after fighting in torrential rain for four hours. They were nearly overrun, but were saved by a timely ammunition resupply, accurate artillery fire from the nearby Australian base, and the arrival of reinforcements by armoured personnel carrier.
Eighteen Australians lost their lives and 24 were wounded, the largest number of casualties in one operation since the Australian task force had arrived a few months earlier. After the battle the bodies of 245 enemy soldiers were found.
On this day we gather to remember and respect all those Australians that served during the Vietnam war; those who gave the ultimate sacrifice; those who returned and were forever scarred; and those who cared for our veterans.