Vietnam Veteran Day service at Veterans Park, Aberdare on August 18

SOLEMN: Cessnock RSL Sub-branch president Max Lewis addresses the 2017 Vietnam Veterans' Day ceremony at Aberdare
SOLEMN: Cessnock RSL Sub-branch president Max Lewis addresses the 2017 Vietnam Veterans' Day ceremony at Aberdare

Cessnock RSL Sub-branch's Vietnam Veterans Day service will be held at Veterans Park, Aberdare on Saturday.

Vietnam Veterans Day is commemorated each year on August 18, the anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan in 1966.

On that day, 108 Australian and New Zealand soldiers fought a pitched battle against more than 2000 North Vietnamese and Viet Cong troops in a rubber plantation not far from the small village of Long Tan. After fighting in torrential rain for four hours, 18 Australians lost their lives and 24 were wounded. 

Cessnock RSL Sub-branch President Max Lewis said that while the day falls on the anniversary of the battle of Long Tan, other battles Australians served in, such as the Battle of Binh Ba and the Battle of Coral and Balmoral. This year’s service will also commemorate the 50th anniversary of the battle of Coral and Balmoral.

“The day will feature the RSL band playing and marching around the park and there will also be a service and a wreath laying,” Mr Lewis said.

He added that events such as this were important for young and old alike, to serve as a reminder of the sacrifice our Diggers made.

“Hopefully events like Vietnam Veterans day awaken young people and older people to what actually went on over there and the sacrifice these men made,” he said.

“We want as many people there as possible to show that we still care about our mates.”

More than 3000 Australians were wounded in the Vietnam War, and 521 were killed.

Vietnam Veterans Day will be commemorated at Veterans Park Aberdare on Saturday 18 August from 4pm. All are welcome to attend.