Long Tan Day and commemoration of 50 years since the end of The Vietnam War.

Long Tan Day and commemoration of 50 years since the end of The Vietnam War.

18 Aug 2023

Pictured: 50th Anniversary of the end of Australia's participation in the Vietnam War.

So why would you do it? Go to Vietnam to fight a person you probably knew very little about?


For some they had no choice - they were drafted. For others it was their job - they were “regs” and you go where you are ordered. Others hated Communism and genuinely believed it to be a near imminent threat to everything that made Australia. Some had a spirit that craved adventure.


They all had one thing in common - they were doing it for Australia, and it might cost them their life.


And what did so many do at home? Booed them, spat on them, and screamed obscenities at them as if it was their own political decision. They were honorable, we were the disgrace.


If Communism had not been exhausted in resources from the Vietnam conflict it would not have stopped in Vietnam. Success in a military campaign, in philosophy, does not stop at an arbitrary line in an atlas. The philosophy hops over the line and lights a fire and then the soldiers arrive to fan it, or extinguish it. Our soldiers were extinguishing the fire in a foreign land, to ensure the flames never burnt in ours.


523 paid the supreme sacrifice and the sorrow hangs like a fog in photos, stories and plaques; but a lesser sadness goes far wider. The maimed, the disturbed, the marriages torn apart and broken families, the lost opportunities, the feelings that the world has moved on "without me on it".


So today, as we commemorate 50 years since Australia ended its participation in the Vietnam War, we say that these were men and women of honour; and that honour now lives in their families.


Before you say "lest we forget", say "sorry", then say "thank you", then think aren’t you lucky that they did their job for you. Then: "Lest we forget".


#vietnamveteransday #lestweforget #rslaustralia #veteransaustralia 





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