MEMBERS of the Gunnedah community flocked to the town’s cenotaph on Saturday morning to pay their respects to those who served Australia during the Vietnam War.
Hosted by the Gunnedah RSL Sub branch, the event was part of the nation’s Vietnam Veterans day commemorations, which also marked the 60th anniversary of the battle of Long Tan.
Gunnedah RSL Sub branch president Peter Kannengiesser said the day was an important one on the club’s calendar.
“These days are so important,” Mr Kannengiesser said.
“It’s important to recognise the service of all of those men and women who served during that conflict and honour the sacrifices they made.”
Mr Kannengiesser said the day was growing in popularity within the Gunnedah community.
“While we would have liked to see more people turn up today [Saturday], there are more people here than last year which is a promising sign,” he said.
“I think this day is growing in profile and to me that can only be a good thing, and we as a club will continue to do what we can to help it grow.”
Fellow Gunnedah RSL Sub branch member Don McDonagh echoed the president’s feelings.
“Our servicemen and women did a terrific job in Vietnam,” Mr McDonagh said.
“These days are so important to give them the recognition they deserve.”
Mr McDonagh said he hoped more Vietnam veterans would take part in future events.
“It has always been difficult to get the vets to come along,” he said.
“The reasons are of course well known and in my opinion a little bit shameful.
“However, we live in a different society now.
“We are a different club and would love to see more Vietnam Veterans get involved in the future.”
The Gunnedah RSL Sub branch will now look to hosting its centenary celebrations later on this year.