VVMF presents granite from The Wall to Australian allies
On Wednesday, Jan. 23 VVMF presented its Australian allies with granite from The Wall to recognize 100 years of mateship between the two countries and to thank them for their service during the Vietnam War.
In a brief event at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, VVMF President and CEO Jim Knotts presented two pieces of original Wall granite as a token of appreciation to the National Vietnam Veterans Memorial Museum in Victoria and the government of Australia.
“We have been honored to have our allies from Australia stand alongside Americans in almost every major military conflict for the last 100 years,” said Jim Knotts. “It is an alliance that is stronger than ever and extremely important to all of us who have worn our uniform and have had the pleasure to have served alongside our Australian mates.”
Kingsley Mundey AM, Chairman of the National Vietnam Veterans Museum at Phillip Island in Victoria and Brigadier Shane Gabriel, Australian Military Attaché to the United States accepted the pieces. The granite helps illustrate the ongoing partnership between America and Australia, and those who served together.
“The National Vietnam Veterans Museum in Australia is about to be rebuilt to create a great legacy for Vietnam veterans,” Mundey said before receiving the granite. To have a piece of granite coming back to the museum demonstrates the strong foundation and great strength between Australia and US troops. “It will be placed in our museum with a deep gratitude and deep respect,” he added.
Following brief remarks, a wreath was laid at the apex of The Wall to remember those who gave their lives in Vietnam. The event ended with the playing of Taps.
Australians have fought beside U.S. service members in World War I, World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Sinai, the Persian Gulf , Kuwait, Somalia, East Timor, Kosovo, Sierra Leone, Afghanistan and Iraq. During the Vietnam War, Australia sent its Army, Navy and Air Force to assist in the war effort, including nearly 42,000 Army, just under 13,000 Royal Australian Navy (RAN), and over 4,700 Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) personnel. In all, 521 Australian service members died as a result of the war, and more than 3,000 were wounded. The photos of Australians who lost their lives in the Vietnam War are displayed on VVMF’s Australian Wall of Faces.