Today marks the 55th anniversary of the Tet Offensive, a key turning point of the Vietnam War.

Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Matt Keogh said the Tet Offensive played a significant role in changing public opinion about the war.

“The Tet Offensive marked a significant escalation in the scale and intensity of the Vietnam War, shaking the resolve of South Vietnam and her allies.” Minister Keogh said.

“During the Offensive more than 100 towns and cities across South Vietnam were attacked during what was supposed to be a time of truce; the Lunar New Year, Tet Nguyen Dan (Tet) holiday period.” 

Although most of the attacks were quickly defeated, graphic footage of the fighting in Saigon and Hue was broadcast around the world, including in Australia.

“The bitterness and desperation conveyed in the footage deeply affected many people worldwide, turning public sentiment further against the war, ultimately leading to Australia officially ending our commitment to the Vietnam War on 11 January 1973,” Minister Keogh said.

“This was a war that was at times contentious at home, and for some veterans their service not recognised as it should have been. This year, the 50th anniversary of the end of Australia’s involvement in the Vietnam War, we will honour the service and sacrifice of all who served, and their families.”

Throughout 2023 the Australian Government is recognising the contribution of our Vietnam veterans, both during the Vietnam War, and the contribution they have made in our community since.

On Vietnam Veterans’ Day, 18 August 2023, a national commemorative service will be held at the Vietnam Forces National Memorial in Canberra to recognise the 50th anniversary.

For more information about the service and the 50th anniversary of the end of Australia’s involvement in the war, visit the Department of Veterans’ Affairs website: www.dva.gov.au/VietnamCommemorativeService


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