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Apology To Vietnam Veterans

Media Release

28 May 2008

Apology To Vietnam Veterans

New Zealand First supports the Crown apology to Vietnam veterans and endorses the sentiments expressed by the Prime Minister.

We also firmly believe in the long overdue measures being adopted to address the serious problems suffered by veterans and their families.

As an American commander in Vietnam once said “The military don’t start wars. Politicians start wars”.

These men were sent to Vietnam by politicians. They did their duty.
When they returned, their country did not do its duty by them.

Today is not a time for recriminations, but we must acknowledge that the official treatment of these soldiers has been a blot on our history.

So have been the unconscionable and protracted denials of successive governments of the effects of Agent Orange on soldiers and their families.

We can’t change the past, but we can acknowledge it and try to put things right as best we can.

The apology today is a step towards that and we hope that it is accepted in the spirit with which we unreservedly offer it.


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