One of the largest crowds in years for a Blue Mountains Vietnam Veterans and Associated Forces Memorial Day filled all corners of the park surrounding Springwood war memorial on Sunday, where NSW Governor David Hurley - a former chief of the Australian Defence Force - was guest of honour.
Governor Hurley said he had grown up in the shadow of the Vietnam War and began his long, distinguished military career at the Royal Military College in Duntroon being trained by Vietnam War veterans - "some of the finest" - who inspired him no end.
"In the immediate aftermath of the Vietnam War we went through what soldiers today call the long peace - about 15 years of non-operational service - but the professionalism of the group [who served in Vietnam] drove us into the future," Governor Hurley said.
"And it can be seen in the performance of the ADF today and over the last two decades of operational deployment, from Namibia, Somalia and East Timor, to Iraq and Afghanistan.
"You have taught us a lot, your generation, what it was like to be Anzacs, because in your service in Vietnam you lived up to the tradition of the Anzac spirit and you handed that on.
"We all know that you did not receive justice for your service. But I hope that you are all well aware that the Australian community holds you in the greatest regard.
"Your service was noble, you served for your mates and you've taught us a lot after Vietnam about how to look after your mates."
Blue Mountains Vietnam Veterans and Associated Forces president Peter Jones said Governor Hurley's presence was very much appreciated.
"He did a very good job and I thought he delivered a brilliant speech," Mr Jones said.