Tributes flow for Vietnam Veterans Day
VETERANS and supporters from across the Tablelands turned Mareeba’s Byrnes Street into a moving memorial last Friday as part of Vietnam Veterans Day services.
Veterans from Kuranda, Atherton and Mareeba as well as the Vietnam Veterans Motorcycle Club from Mackay and other areas across the Tablelands attended the ceremony held at the Mareeba cenotaph.
Mareeba RSL presidents and Mareeba RSL Sub Branch secretary Alan Webb said it was the 51st anniversary of Long Tan now known as Veteran’s Day.
“It is an honour to be here to be part of commemorating all veterans today,” he said.
“This day is to commemorate all the men and women who died in battle and the 500,000 that were wounded, physically and mentally for life.”
He said it was a great day that was well attended and thanked the Mareeba Council and members and staff of the Mareeba RSL for the work they did helping to organise the day.
He also thanked members of the public.
Veteran Des Aylet was a Warrant Officer who served in Malaya, Malaysia, Vietnam and also worked with training soldiers in Cambodia.
Currently living in Mareeba, Warrant Officer Aylet joined the march to show his respect.
He said his brother was also in the Army and served two tours in Vietnam before he died in action during his second tour.
“Vietnam Veterans Day is about remembering your old mates and those that didn’t come back,” he said.
He said being a part of Vietnam Veterans Day gives him a feeling of being a part of a group who has suffered similar experiences to him. Warrant Officer Aylet suffered injuries whilst on active service.
Ex-Air Force warrant officer Rod Fenton from Atherton, alongside Third Cavalry Regiment Des Edmunds from Julatten marched in the 2017 Vietnam Veterans Day March in Mareeba. Mr Fenton marched with a flag that once belonged to one of his troops.