Friday 20th July 2018
Mr Bob Elworthy
Vietnam Veterans Association of Australia/Victorian Branch
ANZAC House, 4 Collins St
Melbourne Vic 3000
RE: Vietnam Veterans Day Commemorations – Vietnamese Community in Australia/Vic Chapter Inc (VCA Vic)
We write to express our gratitude to the service men and women who have over the decades, fought in peacekeeping missions throughout the world, and the service men and women who fought and died in conflicts including the Vietnam War.
Each year, especially on this occasion, Australians and the veterans’ community gather to pay tribute to the men and women who did what was asked of them by their country - to serve in a place unknown and far from home called Republic of Vietnam, and to return wounded in every sense of the word.
Each year, on this occasion, the Vietnamese Australian community across our nation gather to pay tribute to our Vietnam Veterans, and to the service men and women of the former Republic of Vietnam, who have survived the war and its aftermath, who cheated death to resettle in Australia, and whose comradeship with the Australian service men and women extend long after the battlefields ended. There are so many stories about this camaraderie that stand the test of time.
On the 2018 Vietnam Veterans Day commemorations, the VCA Vic extends our appreciation to the men and women who served in the Vietnam War. We wish to express that the sacrifices these men and women made and the ongoing suffering they continue to endure, forever remain in our hearts, the hearts of the first generation, and in the hearts of the younger generations of Australians of Vietnamese background.
We want them to know that they fought for a just cause, they fought so that we can live fully, and be participants of this free and democratic country. We are doing our best to ensure their sacrifices have given us a chance to live, and the inspiration to make this place a better world for all.
We express our appreciation to the Vietnam Veterans, Victorian Branch for the support you have given to the Vietnamese community, and your ongoing engagement with the community via the Education Team, whose relentless efforts in community education is an inspiration to us all.
I am grateful to be an Australian. I am grateful to have been taught to embrace the fundamental democratic concepts that govern our nation and which encourage us to be active citizens so that we can make this a better place to live. Equally I am also saddened to realise that the people of Vietnam are continuing to suffer under worsening human rights, religious oppression and severely restricted freedom of expression, all of which are contrary to our Australian values.
Thank you for your leadership and for the work of the Victorian Branch of the Vietnam Veterans association.