Emotive day for veterans
THE Emerald RSL is encouraging all people - not only Vietnam veterans - to attend this Sunday's twilight service for Vietnam Veterans Day at Emerald's cenotaph from 6pm.
RSL president Noel Mallyon said local woman Jacinta Fehelaber would play the bugle for the 20-minute service which would include the Last Post, the raising of the flags and the national anthem.
"The whole concept of Vietnam Veterans Day on August 18 is to honour all men and women who served, suffered or died during the Vietnam War,” Mr Mallyon said.
"August 18, 1966, was the date of the most significant battle at Long Tan where 18 Australians were killed and 24 were wounded.
"At the service, we start off with an opening prayer and we talk about the significance of Vietnam Veterans Day and some statistics - 66,000 Australian men and women served, over 500 were killed and thousands were wounded.
"And the mental wounds are still ongoing to this day - it was not just the physical wounds.” Mr Mallyon said.
"We also touch on the political part of the war as it was a very unpopular war because of conscription.
The names of the fallen who were killed at Long Tan will be read out and a small wreath-laying service also held.
"We lay 18 native Australian flowers, bottlebrushes, to honour the 18 Australians who were killed that day.”
People are also able to lay their own tributes.
"It's always an emotional thing - of those killed the youngest was 19 and the oldest 22 so it's emotional to realise that so many young people were killed.”