Seymour community turns out to commemorate Vietnam veterans – Shepparton News

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The Vietnam War was the longest conflict of the 20th century that Australia was involved in. Of the almost 60,000 Australians who served, 521 lost their lives and more than 3000 were wounded.
Many were sent against their will as conscripts, but their sacrifice was not welcomed upon return with parades or ballads of bravery and heroism. Instead, many faced scorn and abuse.
It was a different case in Seymour on Vietnam Veterans’ Day last week, when veterans, community leaders, members of the public and students gathered at the Vietnam Veterans’ Commemorative Walk to honour the service and sacrifice of those who served.
Master of ceremonies John Pheonix, a member of the Mitchell Vietnam Veterans’ Association sub-branch and the commemorative walk committee, presented the service with an outline of the history of the conflict and some reflections, which was followed by a wreath-laying ceremony, the playing of The Last Post and Reveille, a prayer from Father Don Kaus and a speech from Seymour College students.
The five students who represented Seymour College at the service have family who are current or past serving members of the Australian Defence Force.
School captain Liam O’Neill paid his respects to veterans in his speech.
“At Seymour College, we believe it is important to commemorate the sacrifices and achievements of our defence forces,” he said.
Mitchell Shire Council Mayor Bill Chisholm emphasised the importance of recognising the personnel that did not come back from Vietnam and the impact that had on many families and future generations.
“It’s really important to recognise the contribution of veterans across the centuries and especially the Vietnam War,” Cr Chisholm said.
“We’ve got a lot of locals here that were involved in that war. It’s important that these people get recognised for their service, and they’ve contributed a lot to Australia over the years.”
The Vietnam War spanned 10 years, with the first troops deployed in July 1962.
The final troops were withdrawn in December 1972.

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