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Nats Will Establish A Tomb Of The Unknown Warrior

24 April 2002

National Will Establish A Tomb Of The Unknown Warrior

Tomorrow New Zealand remembers our war dead with ANZAC Day, today National wants to give special recognition to all our war veterans, says National Party Leader Bill English.

"Today I am announcing our Veteran Affairs policy and in particular we recognise the special status of New Zealand's war veterans.

"It is now over 80 years since we have gathered for ANZAC Day. This day lies at the core of what it is to be a New Zealander. This is our way of eyeballing and facing up to war, and of not letting war itself defeat us, of not letting war take value and meaning from our lives and the lives of our loved ones who fell.

"We must also remember all those men and woman who over the years have returned after serving our country. We must never forget their courage; we must always give them the acknowledgment they deserve.

"A National Government will introduce a veterans' gold card which will provide a range of benefits including priority access, where there is established need, to hospital services such as surgical treatment and priority access to Housing New Zealand accommodation. All things being equal someone who has put their life on the line should go first.

"We will also establish a Tomb of the Unknown Warrior at the National War Memorial. In a number of countries including England, United States, Australia and Canada a national monument has been created to remember those who died and whose bodies were not recovered for burial.

"The Unknown Warrior would represent all New Zealanders, whether they be navy, army or air force personnel. The inscription on the tomb will read:" All these were honoured in their generations and were the glory of their times" Ecclesiasticus44: 7.

"Other steps National would undertake to provide increased administrative support for the veterans' affairs portfolio and simplify the system for veterans' pensions,"says Mr English.

Ends

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