Fallen, not forgotten
THE Whitsundays is always a memorable holiday destination but for Melbourne visitor and Vietnam War veteran Stuart Golland it was much more.
For the first time in his life, the 70-year-old was able to lay a wreath to honour the mates he lost during the war he spent one day short of a year at – in particular, the Battle of Long Tan.
“It’s upsetting but it’s done,” was all he could say as tears filled his eyes.
Supported by wife Noelene, Mr Golland said he was grateful to the Airlie Beach RSL for welcoming him to Vietnam Veterans Day at the Cannonvale cenotaph on Tuesday.
Airlie Beach RSL president Terry Brown said it was always important to remember our fallen soldiers.
“Particularly those who lost their lives standing up for what they believed in,” he said.
Whitsunday MP Jason Costigan was in the crowd.
“The Vietnam War was raging when I was a little boy and I was well aware many soldiers came home never the same,” he said.
Guest speaker retired squadron leader Ken Thackeray OAM served in Vietnam from 1968–69 and provided much for the audience to reflect on.
“Importantly, today we gather to honour the 50,000 Australian Vietnam veterans who served and our thoughts are with the families of those 504 Australians who did not return and the thousands who returned with injuries to body and mind,” he said.
REMEMBERED: Tuesday's Vietnam Veterans Day commemoration ceremony in Cannonvale.