Vietnam Veterans Memorial Day in Springwood on August 17

Last year's Vietnam Veterans and Associated Forces Memorial Day in Springwood.
Last year's Vietnam Veterans and Associated Forces Memorial Day in Springwood.
Last year's Vietnam Veterans and Associated Forces Memorial Day in Springwood.

Last year's Vietnam Veterans and Associated Forces Memorial Day in Springwood.

Large crowds are anticipated to line both sides of Macquarie Road in Springwood and fill Buckland Park War Memorial on Sunday, August 17 to mark the Vietnam Veterans and Associated Forces Memorial Day - which this year falls one day and 48 years after the Battle of Long Tan in Vietnam.

The parade will start at 11.30am at the western end of Macquarie Road in Springwood's town centre and finish at the war memorial where a service will commence at 12.15pm and conclude at 1pm.

The parade will feature Vietnam War veterans, emergency services personnel, marching bands, the Vietnam Veterans Motorcycle Club of Australia, the Australian Red Cross and students from local primary and high schools.

The annual event is hosted by the Blue Mountains Vietnam Veterans and Associated Forces Inc (BMVVAF) and is held to honour veterans who served in all post-World War II theatres of war, peacekeeping and special operations and to remember service personnel and civilians who lost their lives in war and their families that are left behind.

Special guest at the memorial service on Sunday will be Rear Admiral Neil Ralph, who was selected to command the first contingent of the Royal Australian Navy Helicopter Flight-Vietnam in late July 1967, comprising 50 personnel from various squadrons. He was also the second in command of the 135th Aviation Company that served in Vietnam, was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross on December 10, 1968 and in early 1970 he was appointed as executive officer of the fast troop transport HMAS Sydney, which made logistics re-supply deployments to Vietnam.

At 4pm the Lithgow Highland Pipe Band will perform the Beating the Retreat ceremony opposite the War Memorial to conclude the memorial day.

A military custom that originated in the 16th century, the Retreat evolved into a musical performance accompanied by a display of marching and counter marching.

BMVVAF vice-president Glenn Daly said the day was well-supported each year by the general public and BMVVAF members, including many Vietnamese.

"There is a big Vietnamese population in western Sydney from many different groups - we [BMVVAF members] often get invited to attend their events and lots of Vietnamese people attend ours - many will be involved in the memorial day in Springwood on Sunday.

"The Vietnamese community has also donated money to help three of our members who lost their homes during last year's bushfires, as well making donations to the the Blue Mountains Bushfire Mayoral Relief Fund."

Mr Daly said an extra thing to keep in mind this Sunday was this month marks the 50th anniversary of the DH-4C Caribou - heavily used during the Vietnam War and one of the RAAF's longest serving aircraft, decommissioned only in the early 2000s.

"They were great planes because they could take off and land on short and rough airstrips," Mr Daly said.

"I was in them many times and lots of people who served in Vietnam probably would have been in one of them at some stage."

There will be road closures in Springwood on Sunday between 11am and 1pm affecting Macquarie Road between the roundabout at Hawkesbury Road and Ferguson Road and also Raymond Road.

The area of Macquarie Road between the Sports Club entrance and the Raymond Road round-about will also be closed between 4pm and 4.30pm.