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Veterans will celebrate 50th anniversary of Vietnam War’s end in Murray Bridge
A parade down Bridge Street, accompanied by drums and a fly-past, will precede a memorial service and afternoon tea on Vietnam Veterans Day 2023.
When Australia’s last troops came home from the Vietnam War, 50 years ago, there was no welcome mat rolled out for them.
They were shunned by the public for fighting in an unpopular conflict, and largely kept out of RSL branches – in the early going, anyway – by World War II veterans who felt they had not served in a “real” war.
That historical wrong may be righted next month.
Vietnam veterans will march down Murray Bridge’s main street from 1pm on Friday, August 18, accompanied by a drum corps and even a fly-past from the Royal Australian Air Force.
They will start at Diamond Park and head down Bridge Street and East Terrace to the war memorial at Sturt Reserve.
An afternoon tea at Murray Bridge RSL will follow.
RSL sub-branch president Rod Harris said he would love a big crowd to line the route.
“It was a long war, 10 or 11 years in the making, and Vietnam veterans didn’t get a very good reception when they got home to Australia,” he said.
“It will probably lift a cloud (off) their shoulders that we can commemorate this event.”
More than 60,000 Australians served in the Vietnam War between 1962 and 1973.
More than 500 were killed and 3131 were wounded.
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