Vietnam Veterans Day 2018 in Nelson Bay

It was Vietnam Veterans Day last week. Commemorated on the 18th of August every year, my eldest and I were witness to a gathering at the Memorial Park in beautiful Nelson Bay, New South Wales.

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Originally known as Long Tan Day, the date was chosen to commemorate the men of D Company, 6RAR who fought in the battle of Long Tan in 1966. On that day, 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.

On the third anniversary of Long Tan, 18 August 1969, a cross was raised on the site of the battle by the men of 6RAR, honouring the 18 Australians who lost their lives.

Late last year the Vietnamese Government made the decision to hand the cross back to Australia, as a gesture of “goodwill” (following a political incident which barred Veterans from visiting the cross in Vietnam for the 50th anniversary of the event. Just one of those little “incidents” that we must gloss over). It is now on display at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra.

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2 thoughts on “Vietnam Veterans Day 2018 in Nelson Bay

    1. When released I was 20. Young and stupid. Totally ignorant of Vietnam, and really quite hormonal over Bryan Brown. He was my reason for viewing. At that time in Aussie movies it was the same actors always doing the rounds – movies, comedies, sitcoms and commercials. And they were always the same “ character”. Graham Kennedy played Graham Kennedy. John Jarret played John Jarret. Always larrikins, always Boofheads. As they were in this movie. This depiction did not sit well with me at the time and took my focus off the storyline.
      I gave my copy of the DVD to the military son in law cause it’s his all time favourite flick. I will revisit it next trip south. It may help that Brown seems to have aged far worse than I have and I can better focus on the movie. Thanks for the reminder, young Mark from Portland, and enjoy your weekend.

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