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Remembrance Ceremony For Vietnam -

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to D Company, and particularly, of course, acclaimed as Vietnam Veterans Day however, it's now been officially and, as such, Vietnam veterans through Australia. it's a commemorative day for all like this for Vietnam veterans? How important is a ceremony it's a great day, Well, I believe that particularly here when you see come along with their families so many Vietnam veterans have becoming a national event and, undoubtedly, it is now

some pleasure and it certainly gives them who fought for their country to be accepted as being the veterans during the Vietnam War. and to commemorate those who died with the introductory address Our coverage begins today Rear Admiral Retired. from Simon Harrington, Your excellencies, Major General Michael Jeffery, of the Commonwealth of Australia Governor-General and Mrs Jeffrey, Prime Minister of Australia the Honourable John Howard, and Mrs Howard, Minister for Veterans' Affairs the Honourable Bruce Billson, the Minister for Defence and Minister Assisting and Mrs Billson, High Commissioner for New Zealand Her Excellency Mrs Kate Lackie, himself a Vietnam veteran, and Mr David Lackie, charge d'affaires ad interim Mr Michael Owen, for the United States of America, also a Vietnam veteran, the Chief Minister of the ACT, Mrs Mary Porter MLA, representing Chief of Defence Force, Air Chief Marshal Angus Houston, service chiefs, the coordinating committee, members of Vietnam veterans, in the Battle of Long Tan, especially those who took part families of veterans, the ultimate price, especially of those who paid distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen. the most important day As Anzac Day has become in our commemorative calendar, of the Battle of Long Tan, so 18 August, the anniversary has become the same in this country we especially remember to be the day on which during the Vietnam War, all those who fought and died activities occurring and today there are commemorative

throughout Australia and indeed at Long Tan itself. broader Vietnam veteran community There are good reasons why the has adopted this day commemorative activities. for their principal and collective It was the first significant battle taskforce was involved. in which the first Australian in this battle More Australians lost their lives in Vietnam. than in any other single engagement In this war, servicemen served side by side. regular and national Defence In this Battle at Long Tan, lives were national servicemen, all but 3 of the 18 who lost their with our New Zealand partners and yet again we fought side-by-side

also played a part. and our American friends commemorative day for Vietnam Long Tan provides a most appropriate for the diggers of World War I. as did the Gallipoli landings on the 40th anniversary of Long Tan, However, today, particular tribute it is appropriate to pay to the veterans of Long Tan during the battle. and to those who supported them well over 100 Long Tan veterans This morning we have

in the rubber plantation or next of kin of those who were

or who provided vital support. to those veterans and their families So I offer particular welcome not only an Australian battle, and, as I mentioned, this was in the ANZAC tradition, a very important role. New Zealanders played acknowledge Mr Morrie Stanley, I would particularly like to formerly of the New Zealand Army, at the battle who was a forward observer of calling in the artillery and did such an amazing job that was so instrumental from being overrun that evening. in preventing Delta Company 6RAR those of you Finally, I would like to acknowledge with the Vietnam War. who have no direct connection compliment by being here today. You pay our veterans a great They deserve it.

Thank you. APPLAUSE verses 1 to 11. A reading from Psalm 46, a very present help in trouble. God is our refuge and strength, though the Earth should change, Therefore, we will not fear in the heart of the sea, though the mountains shake though its waters roar and foam, with its tumult. though the mountains tremble may glad the city of God, There is a river whose streams of the most high. the holy habitation God is in the midst of her. She shall not be moved. God will help her right early. The nations raise. The kingdoms totter. He utters his voice. The Earth melts. The Lord of hosts is with us. The God of Jacob is our refuge. Come, behold the works of the Lord, in the Earth. how he has brought desolations to the end of the Earth. He makes war cease and shatters the spear. He breaks the bow He burns the chariots with fire. "Be still and know that I am God. "I am exalted among the nations. "I am exalted in the Earth." The Lord of hosts is with us. The God of Jacob is our refuge. those who paid the supreme sacrifice MAJOR ROBERT MORRISON: The names of at Long Tan

will now be read out and David Sabben. by Long Tan veterans Morrie Stanley of the service, During this solemn part will be conducted a simulated fire mission of Lake Burley Griffin from the foreshore at the foot of Anzac Parade played by the artillery to symbolise the critical role in the battle.

by Kiwis from 161 Battery, Two of the guns today are manned Royal New Zealand Artillery. most of the supply support It was this battery that provided during the battle. The guns will check fire

Iroquois helicopters to fly over, to allow Vietnam ammunition resupply symbolising the vital Royal Australian Air Force by 9 Squadron at a crucial stage of the battle. their fire mission. The guns will then complete and David Sabben to come forward. I now invite Morrie Stanley who died These are the 18 Australian soldiers in the Battle of Long Tan as a result of their involvement on 18 August 1966. Second Lieutenant Gordon C. Sharp, aged 21. Corporal Peter E. Clements.

Corporal Clements was a crew commander with 3 Troop 1APC Squadron when he was fatally wounded while relieving the troops at the Battle of Long Tan. He died at the 36th US Evacuation Hospital in Vung Tau nine days later. He was 21. The remaining names on the list were members of Delta Company 6th Battalion. Lance Corporal Jack Drury, aged 21. Private Richard A. Aldersee, Private Glen A. Drabble, aged 21. Private Kenneth H. Gant, aged 21. Private Ernest F. Grant, aged 21. Private Victor R. Grice, aged 21. Private James M. Houston, aged 22.

Check fire! Check fire! Chopper ammunition resupply inbound! Private Paul A. Large, aged 21. Private Albert F. McCormack, aged 21. Private Dennis J. McCormack, Private Warren D. Mitchell, aged 21.

Private Douglas J. Salveren, aged 20. Private David J. Thomas, aged 21. Private Francis B. Topp, aged 19. Private Maxwell R. Wales, aged 22. And lastly, Private Colin J. Whiston, aged 21. MAJOR ROBERT MORRISON: Ladies and gentlemen, it's now my pleasure to invite the Prime Minister to present his address. Thank you, Mr Howard. APPLAUSE Your Excellency the Governor-General and Mrs Jeffrey, the New Zealand High Commissioner, other diplomatic representatives, veterans of the Vietnam War and my other fellow Australians. The year 2006 marks the anniversaries of two great battles in Australian military history, marks 90 years since the Battle of Fromelles in France in 1916

and 40 years since the Battle of Long Tan in Vietnam. Although those two battles are separated in time by 50 years and separated by thousands of miles from where they took place, they are bound together in the history of this country and in the consciousness of who we are by the common characteristics of Australians that were on display at those two battles - those characteristics of courage, of initiative, of individual fortitude and of mateship. The Battle of Long Tan was, of course, the first great engagement of the Vietnam War

and recorded the greatest loss of Australian lives in any individual battle. Those who served in Vietnam - and I am delighted that so many have been able to make the journey to Canberra for this very important commemoration - those who served in Vietnam are indelibly and permanently part of the great Australian ANZAC tradition. The Vietnam War was the longest military engagement in which Australia took part.

It lasted 11 years from 1962 to 1973. Like all wars, it had its differences from others. It was a war fought essentially by ambush and patrol. It was a war that placed an enormous psychological strain on those who participated, and we are very conscious of the lingering impact of that psychological strain. On this occasion, we also remember the bravery not only of our allies such as New Zealand and the United States, but also the bravery of the men of the army

of the old Republic of South Vietnam who fought so very bravely alongside our men. We saw 59,000 Australians of which 15,000 were national servicemen take part in that war. And as we remember them, and we particularly remember with sadness the 500 who gave their lives, let me say to all of you that have come here for these series of events, let me say on behalf of a grateful nation, a nation which perhaps, indeed,

certainly was not as grateful and as respectful as it should have been 40 years ago, let me say to all of you, as you leave Canberra and you go to your homes all around our country, that your nation honours you, your nation respects you, and your nation thanks you for your courage and your commitment and the way in which you did your duty as asked of you by your nation and the way in which you upheld the finest traditions of military service of which Australians are so proud. Your fellow Australians admire you and we thank you for your sacrifice and your contribution.

APPLAUSE CHAPLAIN RICHARD BROWN: We gather here in the sight of God as loyal citizens of Australia, to honour the memory of those who made the supreme sacrifice whilst serving our nation during the war in Vietnam. We stand at this hour.

Let us offer thanks to God for remembrance for the sacrifices made by all Australian service personnel, before then and since then, and for the countless blessing granted to our people in peace and in war. Let us give thanks to our democratic system of government and to pray that God will continue to bless us with freedom and peace. Finally, let us today rededicate ourselves to serve others

as faithfully as those who have gone before us. In silence, let us be conscious of God's presence with us. I invite those who are preparing prayers to come forward now, thank you. A prayer for the nation. Eternal God, we pray for this land and the people of Australia. We thank you for this rolling brown land, washed by the waters of the southern sea. We thank you for its bounty that has sustained us and its beauty that has delighted us. We praise you for this land under the Southern Cross which has provided a new beginning in life for so many people across the centuries, for the freedom it has offered, for the good life it has provided and the peace which it enjoys. Lord of the ages, we pray for this nation of Australia, living in an ancient land, that you will bless all her people and that we make work for a nation that is free, prosperous and caring. To you, O God, we give honour, glory and praise, now and always. Amen. A prayer for the Australian Defence Force. God our Father, we pray for all those who have served our country as sailors, soldiers and as members of the Air Force. We are thankful that their service has been for the cause of justice and peace with discipline and loyalty, and we thank you for the sacrifice of all who have made possible the freedom we enjoy and the heritage we have been given. We commend to you all who now serve in the Defence Force of our nation and for those who will come after them in the future. Shelter them when in danger and in time of peace, keep them from all evil, for Jesus Christ's sake. Amen. A prayer for all involved in the Vietnam conflict. Father of all mercies,

we entrust to your care all involved in the war in Vietnam. Especially we pray for those who remain in trouble, sorrow or distress as a result of their experience. We remember service personnel and their families, including widowers and children, and the people of Vietnam. Extend to each and all of them your healing and help. Do not let our faith fail us or grow weary, O Lord. Deepen our understanding that we may bear one another's burden and so fulfil the law of Christ.

We especially remember those who have paid the supreme sacrifice. We pray that their loss may not have been in vain, that you may visit them with your compassion and grant them your comfort and peace. Through Jesus Christ our Lord we pray. Amen. Prayer for peace.

Sovereign Lord, we pray for peace in this troubled world. Prosper the activities of those who work to preserve human rights. Promote the endeavours of all who work for reconciliation and justice. Deliver us from the forces of malice, jealousy and fear. Direct us in the ways of understanding, cooperation and mutual respect. Lord, bless all peacemakers. Lord, sustain all peacekeepers. Break down the barriers of ignorance and suspicion and fear. Build up those who have made for peace, justice and freedom. O God, we fervently pray for peace within the human family in the name of Jesus of Nazareth, the Prince of Peace. Amen. REFLECTIVE STRING MUSIC Shoulder arm! They show 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. ALL: We will remember them. (Commander calls) Present arms! (Bugler plays 'Last Post')

(Commander calls) Soldiers - arms! ONE MINUTE'S SILENCE (Bugler plays 'Rouse')

ALL: Lest we forget. Lord, grant that what we have said this day with our lips we may believe in our hearts and what we believe in our hearts we may demonstrate in our lives. And so may the Lord bless you and keep you. May His face shine upon you and be gracious to you. May He look upon you with kindness and give you peace.

Amen. Present arms! and give you peace. Amen. Present arms! (Band plays 'Advance Australia Fair') (sings) # ..of beauty rich and rare # In history's page let every stage # Advance Australia fair # In joyful strains then let us sing # Advance Australia fair # CRAIG ALLEN: And that's where we will leave our coverage for this special remembrance ceremony for Vietnam. Bill, thanks for being with us this morning.

BILL FOGARTY: Thank you and it was a very great pleasure. Thanks for your company today.

I'm Craig Allen. Goodbye for now. Closed Captions produced by Captioning and Subtitling International Pty Ltd This program is captioned live.

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