The 2016 Service and Sacrifice bike ride is committed to road safety. All participants in support of Veterans, will at all times demonstrate ethical riding practices to enable a harmonious and safe co-existence with all road users on the route from Seymour to Canberra.
The Victorian Government is the major financial supporter for our upcoming ride to Canberra. Minister for Veterans, John Eren officially launched the event at the Shrine, on Wednesday 16 December, in front of some of the participating cyclists.
He was also presented with a VetRide jersey, that the Minister will wear when he rides with us for the first stage. (see below Herald Sun article , address by the Vietnam Veterans Association State President AND State Government media release)
Herald Sun – Friday December 18
GET ON YOUR BIKE AND COMMEMORATE HISTORIC LONG TAN
NEXT year marks the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War’s Battle of Long Tan, when 108 Australian soldiers successfully fought off an estimated 2500 Viet Cong in one of the most extraordinary chapters of the nation’s military history.
To mark the anniversary, former and present service personnel and the public have been invited to take part in the week-long 2016 VetRide cycling event, which honours the 521
Australians killed in Vietnam and the service given by all veterans.
The bike ride starts on March 14 at Seymour’s Vietnam Veterans Commemorative Walk and will travel through Benalla, Bandiana, Kapooka, Cootamundra and Yass before finishing on March 20 at the National War Memorial in Canberra.
“VetRide2016 is a great opportunity to make friends and commemorate the servicemen and women who did us proud,” Minister for Veterans John Eren said.
“The 50th anniversary of the Battle of Long Tan is a chance to reflect on one of the most decisive moments in Australia’s history.”
The Battle of Long Tan, involving 108 D company 6RAR Australian soldiers cut off from their base at Nui Dat — with 18 Australian dead and 24 others wounded — was one of the heaviest conflicts of the war and one of only a handful of engagements in recorded history of a victory against such odds.
ADDRESS BY BOB ELWORTHY AM, State President, VVAA Victoria
VETRIDE 2016 IS AN IMPORTANT PART OF THE VICTORIAN VIETNAM VETERANS COMMEMORATIONS IN 2016, DURING WHICH WE WILL ACKNOWLEDGE THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE BATTLE OF LONG TAN AND THE SERVICE AND SACRIFICE OF ALL MEMBERS OF THE AUSTRALIAN DEFENCE FORCES WHO SERVED DURING THE VIETNAM WAR.
BUT VETRIDE 2016 IS MORE THAN THAT. WITHIN THE CONTEXT OF THE CENTENARY OF ANZAC COMMEMORATIONS, VETRIDE 2016 NOT ONLY ACKNOWLEDGES A SIGNIFICANT ANNIVERSARY FOR VIETNAM VETERANS BUT IT ALSO PAYS TRIBUTE TO ALL WHO HAVE SERVED THIS NATION IN IRTS ARMED FORCES. THE RIDE MOTTO IS “SERVICE AND SACRIFICE”, AND DURING THE 660 KILOMETER JOURNEY FROM MELBOURNE TO THE NATIONS CAPITAL, THE RIDERS IN THIS UNIQUE MOBILE COMMEMORATIVE EVENT WILL RIDE FOR ALL AUSTRALIAN SERVICE PERSONNEL. THE RIDER TOPS ARE EMBLAZONED WITH THE RIBBONS OF MEDALS AND AWARDS FROM THE BOER WAR TO THE PRESENT DAY BESTOWED BY A GRATEFUL NATION ON BRAVE PATRIOTS OF YESTERYEAR THROUGH TO OUR NEW GENERATION OF YOUNGER VETERANS WHO CONTINUE TO SERVE WITH DISTINCTION.
IT IS HOPED THAT THE RIDE WILL FORGE CLOSER BONDS BETWEEN VIETNAM VETERANS AND THE YOUNG SERVICE PERSONNEL OF TODAY AND ALSO PROVIDE THE WIDER COMMUNITY WITH A HIGHLY VISIBLE AND TANGIBLE COMMEMORATIVE EVENT THAT LINKS THE SERVICE AND SACRIFICE OF OUR ARMED FORCES TO THE FREEDOMS WE ENJOY TODAY.
I WISH TO ACKNOWLEDGE THE TIRELESS WORK OF A BAND OF DEDICATED VIETNAM VETERANS AND FRIENDS WHO DARED TO DREAM, AND TO ACKNOWLEDGE THE FINANCIAL SUPPORT FROM THE VICTORIAN STATE GOVERNMENT, WHICH TOGETHER HAVE MADE VETRIDE 2016 A REALITY. I THANK THE MINISTER FOR VETERANS, THE HONOURABLE JOHN EREN MP FOR HIS PERSONAL INTEREST AND INVOLVEMENT AND I WISH ALL RIDERS AND SUPPORT STAFF A SAFE AND MEMORABLE SERVICE AND SACRIFICE COMMEMORATIVE RIDE.
VetRide – Bulletin No. 2, December 2015