Vietnam Veterans Day
Vietnam Veterans Day (formerly known as The Battle of Long Tan Day) was held on Thursday 18th August. Darwin High School students Rory McGrath and Tash Allama acted as poppy orderlies for the 200 members of the public at the Commemorative Service at the Cenotaph which marked the day and the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan.
Their presence was appreciated by the Veterans, many of whom personally thanked the students for their attendance.
Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Love, Acting Commander 1 Brigade delivered the address in which he outlined the history created by ADF members who served in Vietnam. 108 teen-aged members of D company, 6 Battalion RAR, held off a determined attack by 2,500 enemy troops in a rubber plantation, during heavy driving monsoonal rain. Their courage, tenacity and bravery in the face of overwhelming odds, was a decisive Australian victory that changed the course of the Vietnam War.
Lt Col Love contrasted the variance in the public acceptance of the Vietnam Veterans with those who returned from the First World War. It was a sobering reflection. Many of the books laid by dignitaries at the Cenotaph will be directed to Darwin High School.
Thank you to Judy Boland for coordinating students to assist with the event.