Vietnam Veterans’ Day gives Tasmanians an opportunity to recognise the service and sacrifice of our servicemen and women during the Vietnam campaign.
It is marked on August 18, which was originally known as Long Tan Day, after that famous battle by the men of D Company, 6th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment (6RAR).
On that day, 108 Australian and New Zealand soldiers fought a pitched battle against over 2,000 North Vietnamese and Viet Cong troops, with 18 Australians losing their lives and 24 being wounded.
The Vietnam War lasted more than a decade, longer than either world war. More than 60,000 Australians served, including 2,323 Tasmanian born soldiers.
Sadly, 521 Australians, including 16 Tasmanians made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.
Today, I encourage all Tasmanians to pause and reflect on the sacrifice of our servicemen and women during the Vietnam War.