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Parliament acknowledges Defence missions

Hon Dr Jonathan Coleman

Minister of Defence

2 July 2013 Media Statement
Parliament acknowledges Defence missions

Defence Minister Jonathan Coleman welcomes today’s dedication and unveiling of three new commemorative plaques for Defence Force operations.

“It is appropriate that Parliament pays tribute to the 20,000 New Zealanders who served their country in Afghanistan, Timor-Leste and other missions in more than 40 countries around the world since the 1950s,” Dr Coleman says.

“Today’s dedication and unveiling is an opportunity for Parliament to host the families and friends of our fallen soldiers, and those who have been wounded or have served on these deployments.

“These plaques acknowledge the 17 New Zealanders who made the ultimate sacrifice whilst serving their country. Sadly, ten soldiers lost their lives in Afghanistan, five in Timor-Leste, one in Kuwait, and one in Bosnia.

“The plaques will be in the Parliamentary Debating Chamber as solemn reminders of the gravity of the decisions made by successive governments to deploy our Defence Force personnel on operations.”

The three new commemorative plaques, Afghanistan, Timor-Leste, and Missions in Support of Peace, will join those already in place for campaigns and battles from WWI, WWII, Korea, Malaya/Malaysia, and Vietnam.

Around 200 people will gather this evening for the unveiling and dedication which is hosted by the Speaker of the House. The Prime Minister, Leader of the Opposition, the Minister of Defence, the Chief of Defence Force and a number of distinguished guests will also attend.

ENDS


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