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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

VIETNAM VETERAN DAY - MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA

VIETNAM VETERAN DAY - MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA
18 August 2009 - The Shrine of Remembrance, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Honouring those Australians who served or were killed whilst fighting in the Vietnam War (1962-72). This year is the first that all missing in action servicemen have been accounted for, after the recent discovery of the remains of the two lost airmen, Flying Officer Michael Herbert and navigator Pilot Officer Robert Carver.

PHOTO ESSAY - by Sasha Uzunov


photos copyright 2009


Australian Army infantry battalion, 5RAR - 5th Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment, led this year's march in Melbourne. 2009 marks the 40th anniversary of the Battle of Binh Ba, which 5RAR was involved in South Vietnam. 5RAR is known as the Tiger Battalion.




4RAR - now re-badged as 2nd Commando Regiment.

3RAR - (Parachute) - The Australian Army's airborne infantry battalion. Behind 3RAR is 7RAR.

The legendary 6RAR, whose Delta Company took part in the famous Battle of Long Tan on 18 August 1966. One hundred Australian soldiers were pitted against a combined Viet Cong/North Vietnamese force of over 2,000 troops.

1st Armoured Regiment (Armoured Personnel Carriers and Tanks)

Royal Australian Engineers (RAE) and Royal Australian Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (RAEME).


You'll never walk alone-- Blind Vietnam Veteran marches with his comrades.


THE TEAM - The Australian Army Training Team Vietnam (AATTV) was an elite unit raised during the Vietnam War. Its job was to train and sometimes lead the South Vietnamese Army into battle. All four Victoria Crosses won in Vietnam were by AATTV members.

"GENGHIS" KHAN - Brigadier Colin "Genghis" Khan DSO, the popular Commanding Officer of 5RAR during the Battle of Binh Ba gave the main address.
THE ETERNAL FLAME - wreaths are placed here in honour of those who have been killed in war. The honour guards are Victorian Police Officers wearing World War I Army uniform with a yellow Victoria Police badge on the left upper sleeve.



WREATHS - Federal Veterans' Affairs Minister, Alan Griffin, Vietnam Veteran Association of Australia-Victorian President, Bob Elworthy and Premier of the State of Victoria, John Brumby, who said it was time to re-claim the Vietnam War as being a part of the Anzac Legend, Australia's warrior ethos turned national legend.
South Vietnamese ally.

Centre: Major General David McLachlan AO, Victorian State President of The Returned Services League, Australia's peak veteran association.

Centre: Mr Michael Quinn, representing the Australian Peacekeeper & Peacemaker Veteran Association, an organisation for veterans of recent conflicts.




ALAN GRIFFIN: ENRICO CARUSO OF AUSTRALIAN POLITICS? Australia's Prime Minister Paul Keating (1991-96) once described himself as the Placido Domingo of Australian politics. But we believe that current Federal Veterans' Affairs Minister Alan Griffin gives Keating a run for his money when it comes to imitating male opera stars. In the first photo the Minister concentrates and gets himself in the "zone" ready to belt out Australia's national anthem with gusto!

Tony Robinson Victorian State MP (wearing glasses), Minister Assisting the Premier on Veterans' Affairs, is to the left of Minister Griffin. To the right is Bob Elworthy, Vietnam Veteran Association of Australia-Victorian President. On the far left is Ted Baillieu, Victorian State Opposition Leader.

THE MEDIA: Female newspaper photographer lines up a photo.

TELEVISION NEWS: Melbourne Channel 10 News reporter Rakhal Eberli (second from the right) and camera crew.

All photos copyright Sasha Uzunov 2009.

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