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54th anniversary of Vietnam Veterans' Day

News: 5 August 2019

Sunday 18th August 2019 marks the 54th anniversary of Vietnam Veterans' Day.

National commemoration

On 18 August 2019, a national commemoration will be held inside the Hall of Memories, Pukeahu National War Memorial Park at 11am. Members of the public are welcome to attend the ceremony. Please be seated inside the Hall of Memories by 10.45am.  The Hon Tracey Martin, Minister of Internal Affairs will be the government representative at this ceremony.

Historical background

More than 3000 New Zealand military and civilian personnel served in Vietnam between 1963 and 1975. In contrast to the world wars, New Zealand’s contribution was modest. At its peak in 1968, New Zealand’s military force numbered only 548. Thirty-seven men died while on active service and 187 were wounded. Two civilians serving with the surgical and Red Cross teams also lost their lives.

This was the first war in which New Zealand did not fight alongside its traditional ally, Great Britain. Instead, our participation reflected this country's increasingly strong defence ties with the United States and Australia.

Members of the Royal NZ Artillery carry out a fire mission, M2A2 Howitzer, Vietnam, c. late 1960s. Sourced from Wikipedia.

Read more about the Vietnam War on the Ministry's and Vietnam War Oral History Project websites.

Updated on 19th August 2019