Canungra pauses to remember Vietnam Vets

Vietnam Veteran David Day (3RAR) 1967/68
Vietnam Veteran David Day (3RAR) 1967/68

The 50th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War was remembered in Canungra on 18 August at a small commemorative service in DJ Smith Memorial Park. 

Thousands of Australians gathered on this day at the Vietnam Forces Memorial in Canberra, and across the country, to honour the service and sacrifice of our Vietnam Veterans. 

August 18 was the day in 1966 that Australian soldiers fought one of their fiercest battles of the war in a rubber plantation near the village of Long Tan. 

Canungra Law

The Vietnam War, from 1962 to 1975, was one of the longest conflicts in the 20th century. Australia’s last combat troops came home in 1972, three years before the war officially ended. 

In the years that followed, Vietnam Veterans initially gathered on 18 August to commemorate those lost at Long Tan, and now we gather on this day each year as a nation to mark the occasion as Vietnam Veterans’ Day, paying tribute to all those who served in the conflict in which 523 defence personnel were killed and some 3000 wounded.  

Speaking in Ipswich on 18 August, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said: “Let us say to every one of our Vietnam Veterans, today and every day, we honour you, we thank you and we are sorry that as a nation, it took us so long for us as a nation to do so.”