Vietnam Veterans Day service to be held at Veterans Memorial Park, Aberdare on August 18

LEST WE FORGET: The wreath-laying ceremony during last year's Vietnam Veterans Day service at Veterans Memorial Park, Aberdare. Picture: Stephen Bisset
LEST WE FORGET: The wreath-laying ceremony during last year's Vietnam Veterans Day service at Veterans Memorial Park, Aberdare. Picture: Stephen Bisset

Services will take place around the nation this Sunday to remember the nearly 60,000 Australian men and women who served in the Vietnam War.

Vietnam Veterans Day is held on August 18, the anniversary of the 1966 Battle of Long Tan.

Cessnock RSL Sub-Branch will hold a commemoration ceremony at Veterans Memorial Park, Aberdare, where it has held Vietnam Veterans Day services since 1996.

The service will be held at 4pm, in line with the time the Battle of Long Tan took place.

On that day 53 years ago, 105 Australians and three New Zealanders of D Company 6RAR were engaged in one of the fiercest battles of the Vietnam War.

Eighteen Australians lost their lives in the fierce battle in a rubber plantation, and afterwards 245 Viet Cong bodies were found.

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

"Whilst the commemoration on this day is specific to the Vietnam War, we are extending an invitation to all veterans and their families, including those veterans from the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, to join us on this solemn occasion," the sub-branch's honorary secretary David Owens said.

The Cessnock sub-branch is also trialling a change of its monthly meeting day, from the first Tuesday of the month to the first Saturday of the month.

Mr Owens said the change is an effort by the sub-branch to increase its membership with younger veterans from more recent conflicts as well as peacekeeping and peacemaking deployments.

The next meeting will be held on Saturday, September 7 at 10am. Meetings are held at 70 Wollombi Road, Cessnock. Email CessnockSB@rslnsw.org.au for more information.

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