18 Aug 2016

Anger over Vietnam's cancellation of war commemoration service

From Jesse Mulligan, 1–4pm, 1:24 pm on 18 August 2016
An Australian medical officer treating the New Zealand W Company during a resupply in the field during the Vietnam War.

An Australian medical officer treating the New Zealand W Company during a resupply in the field during the Vietnam War. Photo: AAP / AUSTRALIAN WAR MEMORIAL / EKT / 69 / 0015 / VN

Today is the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan, and Vietnam has abruptly banned the commemoration service.  The service took eighteen months of planning, and there are a dozen New Zealand veterans in Vietnam for the occasion, with about one thousand Australian veterans and their families .

John Bell, the New Zealand owner of Belly's Watering Hotel bar, in Vung Tau says the veterans are very upset after making the trip to Vietnam.