Hundreds of Vietnam veterans lined up, ready to march to honour the memory of their fallen mates, but were left standing as Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews held up proceedings.

The Air Force band were ordered to stand down as they prepared to lead the march at 11am sharp, while Andrews arrived late, much to the annoyance of veterans who had made their way to Melbourne’s shrine long before the Labor leader and his entourage strolled in.

That’s not good enough, we’ve been here quite a lot earlier this morning to make sure that we were on time,” one veteran said.

“Okay, he’s got a job to do, we’ve all got a job to do.”

Veterans travelled from across the state to pay their respects on the day, some dumbfounded that the local Premier couldn’t make it on time.

Roughly a three-hour trip (for me), I left home at about half-past five this morning … I made it on time, where does Daniel Andrews come from? Five minutes down the road?,” another Veteran exclaimed.

Victorians gathered to pay their respects to those who made the ultimate sacrifice in a war that divided public debate at the time, leaving many vets living with the after-effects long after the conflict ended.

A lot of what happened a very long time ago stays with us … and it will never go away,” a veteran said.

I think we went there for the right cause, what we believed in and to help the South Vietnamese out, which they are really good people,” said another.

Thousands gathered in Melbourne, making it the nation’s biggest commemoration of Australia’s contribution to the war effort.

This year marks the 60th anniversary of the Vietnam deployment and the 49th anniversary of the end of Australia’s involvement in the Vietnam war.





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