VETERANS, their families and the wider community gathered at a ceremony at the Ararat War Memorial on Monday, to mark Vietnam Veterans' Remembrance Day.
Around 55 veterans and their families gathered at the memorial for a ceremony which was run by the Ararat RSL on behalf of the Grampians Vietnam Veterans' Federation, encompassing Ararat, Stawell and Beaufort veterans.
Minister for Veterans' Affairs Michael Ronaldson said Australians joined together to honour the men and women who served our nation during the Vietnam War and that their sacrifices will never be forgotten.
Mr Ronaldson said the arrival of the Australian Army Training Team Vietnam in South Vietnam during July and August 1962 marked the commencement of Australia's involvement in the war.
By the time the war had come to an end, over a decade later, almost 60,000 Australians had served, of these men and women, 521 died and more than 3,000 were wounded.
"As we pause to honour and remember those who lost their lives, we must also pay tribute to those who served and returned home, many still carrying the effects of the war," Mr Ronaldson said.
"The physical and mental scars left by the war are still evident for many of those who served and their families.
"A range of support and services is available to veterans and their families."
Mr Ronaldson said over the Anzac Centenary period Australians will remember a century of service and sacrifice in all wars, conflicts and peace keeping operations, including Vietnam.
"It will be a defining period in our nation's history, as we seek to better understand where we fought, when we fought and reflect on the values we fought to defend," he said.
For more information on the Long Tan Bursary Scheme, visit www.dva.gov.au/grants or on the Vietnam War visit http://vietnam-war.commemoration.gov.au