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The Memorial | Long Tan Day | AUSTRALIAN POW/MIAs - Vietnam | Gra's 3RAR Days

HONOURING OUR AUSSIE HEROES - Vietnam

Vietnam Veterans Memorial

Canberra  A.C.T.

Opened:  3rd October, 1992

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"I love my Country and I do it out of Respect for the Veterans. It's my way of Thanking those who have Protected the Freedoms I enjoy today" Sorrensen.

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The Vietnam Veterans' Memorial Dedication Weekend
2 - 4th October, 1992
 

In 1987 Australia had it's Homecoming Parade through the streets of Sydney - We honoured those who came home and gave them the cheers that was their right

October 1992 Australia once again gathered together for the opening of the Vietnam Forces National Memorial in Canberra ACT

We came to honour those that did not make it home and to give them the cheers that was their right too

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Veterans' Prayer
 
Almighty God we pray for your blessings upon us who were brought together in the services of our Country.
We thankyou for the friendship, courage and devotion of those Vietnam Veterans who gave their lives in this service. 
We ask you to comfort and strengthen their families and friends.
We pray that their labour and sacrifice may not be in vain but their spirit may live on in us and in the generations of Servicemen to come, and tht the liberty, truth and justice for which they died, may spread through the world.

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Includes photos of "The Entombment" and the building of the Memorial
 
 

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"The image etched on the wall is based on the photograph taken by Sgt Mike Coleridge on August 26, 1967, near Lang Phuoc Hai, Phuoc Tuy Province in South Vietnam. It shows soldiers from 7RAR being airlifted to Nui Dat after the completion of Operation Ulmarrah."

This photo shows the troops of 5 Platoon, B Company, 7th Battalion Royal Australian Regiment.  The image is grit-blasted onto a surface of 30mm thick polished Imperial Black granite.

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"The quotations will represent to future generations the unique vocabulary"

 To Read the Inscriptions click here

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Order of insignia from left to right - Air Force, Army and Navy

The Service Insignia's are each a relief bronze 180mm diameter medallion with 12mm thick background, with the coat of arms raised a further 5mm. 

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3 MIA Plaques bearing the name of 2 are located outside the central memorial

Their inscriptions read In Memory of:

Robert Charles Carver MIA 4.11.1970

David John Elkington Fisher MIA 27.9.1969

John Francis Gillespie MIA 17.4.1971

Peter Raymond Gillson MIA 8.11.1865

Michael Patrick John Herbert MIA 3.11.1970

Richard Harold John Parker MIA 8.11.1965

 (Journalist Neil Sharmon  - MIA 1973 - body recovered with that of American Charlie Dean 2003)

Australia's
 

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"... the thump of the rotors literally vibrated through my body ....they were instructed to go as low and loud as they could..."

News Break - 30 November 2005
Two Australian MIA's, Gillson and Parker reportedly found

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Welcoming Home Speeches - Public Address by

Major General C.M.I. "Sandy" Pearson AO, DSO, OBE, MC, RL

Patron of Australian Vietnam Forces National Memorial Committee

"Today, all those who served in Vietnam will stand straight and tall, knowing that their service in that war is recognised through this magnificent memorial. Knowing too, that the memorial stands in this great avenue in our national capital alongside other memorials dedicated to those Australians who served and died in earlier wars.

Veterans, their families and their friends will find peace in the memorial, a place where they can remember their comrades who died or were wounded or who suffered in other ways. We hope too, that those who visit the memorial in the years so come will come to understand the hardships, the bravery, the cheerfulness and above all the comradeship of all those who served together.

We owe a great debt of gratitude to those whose persistance and dedication have ensured the creation of this memorial."

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"...men walked proud today regardless of handicap ...."

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Those Next of Kin who will have marched at the head of the parade in the Flags of the Fallen phalanx, and who are desirous to do so, are invited to return to the Form Up Area to join the units of their fallen loved ones to march with that unit for what may well be the last time.

"...carrying the flag kept me strong, kept me going and allowed me the pride of a nation ...even though the Dawn Service had touched my heart; the March touched my soul..."

My Dedication Weekend Journal - A Next of Kin's story of a Dream Coming True

Dedication Opening Weekend of the National Servicemen of Vietnam's Memorial October 1992 from the eyes of someone close to the cause.

I wrote this diary as the weekend unfolded especially for my brother who couldn't be there. I've tried to keep it as original as first written to capture the very essence of those five days but in doing so I still wanted to protect names etc. This is my story only after all. 

Includes Many Photos of the Dedication Weekend Events

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"...by the time the bikes came, we knew that after 3 hours continual march - this was the last big chance to show Australia that all our men had finally come home ...72,000 people can make a mighty noise..."

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"LONG TAN DAY"
 
Commemorating the Battle of Long Tan 1966, Australia as a whole remembers those lost during the Vietnam War
Includes pics of our many VV Day's

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"KNICK KNACK PADDYWACK" WAS NEVER THE SAME AFTER A TOUR OF SVN - The song every Aussie VietVet man remembers

Uc-dai-loi / Cheap Charlie

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The "Stone Run" - Diggers ride the Aussie road once again
 

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The Path to Peace is never without its battles.  Vietnam veterans have been fighting for years to retain a piece of land that they use annually for Long Tan events.  They have their own memorial there and usually have a 3 month influx of vets and family into an area once set aside for Soldier Settlement (numbers in the hundreds for 18 August). That's all they're asking for - a place in the wilderness to have as a Sanctuary for our Warriors. The Government is pulling the chain once again on our Vietnam Vets. Visit this site for more info and photos and to all interested Aussies - we'll see you there next year as we make a stand to the pollies on the 40th anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan (look for us in a cam coloured tonner ute with SA plates and all flags blazing).

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Photos courtesy of Jen Sanders  - Pandanas Park

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PICS OF RETURN RUNS TO THE MEMORIAL/OTHER MEMORIAL AND COMMEMORATIVE DAYS
 

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Below are some of the best sites I've found on the net so far inrelation to Australia's Vietnam - Personal, Factual and/or logistical - from there you will find a host of links to wherever related they may send ya.  I've never professed to be an expert so I gladly pass over that responsibility to the many webmasters/authors who know better.
The links that I have submitted are purely Australian. As I continue my own ever reaching search, I shall post more links.

National Vietnam Veterans Memorial

Operation Aussies Home

Aus Dept Defence

Australia's Involvement Vietnam

The Casualty List

Australian War Memorial

Vietnam Vets Assoc

Royal Australian Regiment Foundation

AATTV

Australians At War

National Archives

Dept. Vet Affairs

Retired Sappers

3RAR Charlie Coy

A Grunt's View

Digger History

TPI Federation

GunPlot

Aussie Diggerz

Davo's Vietnam War Homecoming to Australia

Bob Buick's

XMRC

Returned Services League

Bindii's Tribute

Aus Military Wannabes

AusVets

Aussie Entertainers in Vietnam

 

NZ VVETS

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'They Shall Grow Not Old,

As We that are Left Grow Old.

Age Shall Not Weary Them,

Nor the Years Condemn

At the Going Down of the Sun

And In the Morning,

We Will Remember them.'

The Ode by Laurence Binyon

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The Rail

LEST WE FORGET

I'd like to thank Sharon and Robert (NOK J Fitzerald) and Wendy (NOK P Penneyston) for contributing their wonderful photos - All photos are from private collections and it would be appreciated if copied for personal use only - Written material is original or freely given to those that were involved.

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I don't profess to be an expert just someone with a lot of photos and her own story I wished to share, encouraging an interest/affiliation in Australian Military Next Of Kin issues - not all written material has formal approval and will be removed by complaint 
 In memory of and with utmost respect to all fallen heroes