To mark the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War several WWII veterans were presented with commemorative medallions today at Armidale's Legacy House .
Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce delivered the medallions and said it was a great honour to do so.
"We've been getting around the region to present these medallions to those who served our nation and served our nation so well," Mr Joyce said.
"If they had not succeeded - the liberties we all enjoy today would not be present. We've been doing this from Quirindi to Tenterfield and it's been an amazing experience."
Mr Joyce commended the veterans for their service.
"It is not just that in many instances you put your life on the line - it is also the sacrifice you made by being away from your families, and the sacrifice you made by standing back and letting opportunities pass you by which might have been there in your work or business," he said.
"My father was a returned serviceman, and he was smashed up during the war, and he always carried an anger about that impediment that he carried with him from that point forward.
"It's sometimes the physical issue - not a loss of life - but a deficit for the rest of your life in another form, and in some instances psychological scarring putting you at a disadvantage for how you live the rest of your life."
The medallion, available to all living Second World War veterans who apply, is presented in a display case and is a gesture of appreciation from a grateful nation to those veterans who fought to protect our way of life in the terrible conflict that ended 75 years ago.
Armidale recipients were former Sergeant John Williams and Gunner Alister Pankhurst who both served in the Australian Army in New Guinea; Signalman Ronald Vickress who served in the Royal Australian Navy on an Australian Corvette; Royal Australian Air Force Flying Officer John Laffan who is one of only two Australian born Spitfire pilots still alive; radio operator Sergeant Thelma Dalzell (RAAF) and Aircraftwoman Rita Henderson (WAAF) .
"I thank all men and women in Armidale for their service to this country," Mr Joyce said.
"To have not one but six medallion recipients in town demonstrates the readiness of local people to assist their community and fellow Australians when called on.
"We are forever grateful for their contribution to the war effort and in defence of this nation."
Thelma Dalzell thanked Mr Joyce on behalf of the veterans present.
"It's a month or two late since the end of the war but we do thank you for coming," she said.
All the recipients were humble about their roles and some were surprised that they were still being recognised.
"I think it's a bit overdone - we just did what we were expected to do," said Mr Vickress. "Why should people be so concerned about it now?"
Mr Laffan said he was just an ex serviceman.
"I tend to think there were a few thousand others who should have received these as well," he said.
Mr Pankhurst said he was extremely pleased to receive the medallion.
"I think it is something fantastic from a fantastic man," he said. "If everyone else feels the same as me they will be very thankful."
Mr Joyce also presented Guyra residents Sergeant Ted Mulligan OAM and Leading Aircraftman Donald Cox with medallions, however they were unable to attend the service.
More than one million Australian men and women fought to protect our country and our allies during the Second World War, fighting in theatres of war from Europe to North Africa, the Mediterranean and the Middle East, to Asia and the Pacific, with the conflict also reaching Australian shores.