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Monday, 20 August 2018
Page: 7865

Mr TED O'BRIEN (Fairfax) (16:20): Last Saturday, I attended a very moving memorial service at Cotton Tree for Vietnam Veterans Day. I was proud to join the Sunshine Coast community to commemorate the service of those special men and women—almost 60,000 in total—who sacrificed so much, and recognised survivors who, five decades on, continue to carry the scars of that terrible conflict. We stood together in record numbers to show our respect and to mark the 52nd anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan, one of the hardest fought and most costly engagements involving Australian troops during the decade-long conflict in Vietnam.

Each year on 18 August, Australians gather in ever-increasing numbers to commemorate Vietnam Veterans Day and remember the more than 500 young Australians who lost their lives in Australia's longest conflict in a blood-soaked 20th century. While the Battle of Long Tan recedes into an increasingly distant past, I'm confident that its memory will continue to stir the hearts of generations of Australians to come. To those who have served and those who continue to serve, we say a very big thank you and lest we forget.