Friday, August 18, 2006

At fucking last

Other people have said all this better than I can so I'll let them do the talking:

"[Today] marks the 40th anniversary of the single most significant battle for Australia in the Vietnam War.

One hundred and eight Australian soldiers were patrolling near the village of Long Tan when they encountered a Viet Cong and north Vietnamese force about 25 times their number, and a fierce battle ensued. Somehow, the Australians beat the odds and won the fight.

Long Tan is seen today not only as a notable moment in Australia's military history, but also as a time to publicly recognise all veterans from Australia's controversial decade-long involvement in Vietnam. Yet the Long Tan survivors say they're still fighting - this time against a bureaucracy they say has denied them full honours for their deeds in Australia's name."

(ABC)



In a world full of shitty news there was some good news for a change. Australia's Vietnam Vets yesterday got official recognition of their service in Vietnam. At fucking last. Going to war for your country is tough enough. Copping the sort of abuse heaped on the Vietnam vets when they got home is beyond the fucking pale.

"[In Parliment House a]n emotion-choked Opposition Leader Kim Beazley read a letter by Labor MP Graham Edwards, a double amputee from the war, forgiving those who abused him after his homecoming for serving in Vietnam.

[Prime Minister John] Howard stopped short of recommending upgraded bravery medals for Long Tan veterans but formally acknowledged what he described as their sense of grievance and injustice. ...

Mr Beazley read a letter by Mr Edwards, parliament's only Vietnam veteran. He was forced to pause several times as he read the highly charged account of Mr Edwards's hostile homecoming to Perth and his subsequent discovery of a letter written to his mother by an anti-war protester who wished he had died from his wounds."

(The Australian)



There's a thingy with pictures here, an article about this morning's commemoration ceremony at the memorial in Canberra here, diaries and stuff written by the people who were there, and commemorative badges from the Vets themselves here.

Congratulations, guys. Official recognition at last.

2 comments:

kitchen hand said...

At last indeed.

Thank you, guys.

Spike said...

*nodding*