Today I would like to acknowledge the 8RAR Long Hai Day Commemoration Service I attended on Sunday 28 February at the Epping Cenotaph in Boronia Park, along with the Hon. Damien Tudehope MLC, Minister for Finance and Small Business in another place.
The occasion was marked by wreath-laying and the dedication of a remembrance plaque to commemorate those Australian soldiers who died in Vietnam during Operation Hammersley during early 1970. Another remembrance plaque was laid to commemorate the life and service of Sergeant Alan Ahearn who was killed during his tour of duty. Alan was a local Epping boy who attended Epping Boys High School.
Operation Hammersley was fought in the dense Long Hai Hills in Vietnam, a stronghold for the Vietcong. Over a dozen Australians were killed in action or died of wounds, most from landmines. Dozens more were wounded.
I would like to thank the 8th Battalion, Royal Australian Regiment Association (NSW Branch) for organising the special occasion and would like to acknowledge Alan’s family and colleagues as well as representatives from the Epping RSL Sub-Branch, The Epping Club, Epping Boys High School and Parramatta City Council.