Year of the Veterans Presentation
Year of the Veterans
Wigram MP, Jim Anderton presented the Year of the Veterans badges to residents and visitors of Rannerdale War Veterans Home today. He said this generation of New Zealanders had an obligation, at the very least, to recognise and say thank you to the noble generation who gave us the peace and freedom we enjoy today.
"This year has been made the "Year of the Veteran" to remember the contribution veterans made. The Labour-Progressive government is committed to honouring and supporting veterans. The badges we are presenting to 65 veterans today are a mark of the respect and gratitude we owe as a nation," Jim Anderton said.
"They are for service personnel from all the forces on land, in the air and at sea - including our merchant navy. They all made a contribution that humbles those of us on whose behalf it was made. As time passes we need to ensure we cement with tangible reminders our memories of the sacrifices made.
"I'm the only Cabinet minister who was born before World War 2 and who has some memory of what it was like for New Zealanders to go through those times. We must never let the memories slip away of what was done for us by our veterans.
"Most New Zealanders have only ever known peace. It's true our armed forces have served bravely in Korea, Malaya, Vietnam, Bosnia, East Timor and Afghanistan. But New Zealand has not been at a world war, thankfully, since 1945 - and we owe much to the generation that fought that war for the peace and freedom they earned us.
"As long as we remember our veterans, we remember our heroes and we begin to pay our debts. Our ceremony today is another symbolic tribute.
"Rannerdale has been part of veterans' story for a long time now, so I also pay tribute to its jubilee year and to the trustees who keep this facility operating for our veterans.
"Year of the Veteran lapel badges are an expression of appreciation for the courage and sacrifice of everyone who served New Zealand in a recognised war or emergency. Every veteran is eligible for this recognition. Our appreciation and gratitude for their service is enduring. I am privileged to have the opportunity to present them," Jim Anderton said today at the Rannerdale ceremony.