Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 


War Souvenirs More Important Than War Veterans?

20 February 2002

The Prime Minister has announced a campaign to preserve wartime memories for posterity. Lest We Forget is being co-ordinated by the Ministry for Culture and Heritage to encourage people to deposit wartime letters, diaries, photographs, etc. in their local library or museum. This may be very commendable; as such memorabilia will provide future generations with invaluable insights concerning the wartime experiences of their forbears.

But what about the old soldiers themselves, the last remaining veterans of conflicts long past who risked life and limb for the good of their country? What sort of consideration is the Government giving to these flesh-and-blood, living “souvenirs” of war?

In 1990, an annual Government grant of $200,000 for the Levin War Veterans’ Home was stopped and a request last year for finance to save the Home from closure was turned down. Defence Minister, Mark Burton stated a $5.2-million bailout was not an economical way to support 360 returned soldiers. So the Home is to be sold, and the frail residents have been told they will have to go elsewhere to spend their remaining years. What sort of recognition is this for the years of self-sacrifice amidst the horrors of war?

For many of these war heroes, their fellow residents are their family and the Home their one place of refuge and security as their health and vigour drain away. The thought of moving out of their safe haven comes as a terrible shock.

Maybe the Home will be saved even yet. Apparently there are "sensitive negotiations" taking place with a prospective buyer. But what sort of values does this Labour Government espouse when it can cheerfully deny old soldiers a sense of security in their old age, and at the same time promote an expensive campaign to ensure wartime memories remain alive.

Christian Heritage puts people first. Memories are important, but the people who were vitally involved in making those memories and ensuring a peaceful future for us all are surely much more important. Our veterans should be valued for what they did and who they are, and accorded the dignity, respect and comfort they deserve – not just on Anzac Day, but for the rest of their lives.

END


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Scoop Images:
Dame Patsy Reddy Sworn In As Governor-General

This morning Dame Patsy Reddy was sworn in as the New Zealand Realm’s 21st Governor-General. The ceremony began with a pōwhiri to welcome Dame Patsy and her husband Sir David Gascoigne to Parliament. More>>

ALSO:

Ruataniwha: DOC, Hawke's Bay Council Developer Take Supreme Court Appeal

The Department of Conservation and Hawke's Bay Regional Investment Company (HBRIC) are appealing to the Supreme Court over a conservation land swap which the Court of Appeal halted. More>>

ALSO:

With NZ's Marama Davidson: Women’s Flotilla Leaves Sicily – Heading For Gaza

Women representing 13 countries spanning five continents began their journey yesterday on Zaytouna-Oliva to the shores of Gaza, which has been under blockade since 2007. On board are a Nobel Peace Laureate, three parliamentarians, a decorated US diplomat, journalists, an Olympic athlete, and a physician. A list of the women with their background can be found here. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Key Style Of Crisis Management

At Monday’s post Cabinet press conference Key was in his finest wide- eyed “Problem? What problem?” mode. No, there wasn’t really a problem that top MPI officials had been at odds with each other over the meaning of the fisheries policy and how that policy should be pursued... More>>

ALSO:

Mt Roskill: Greens Will Not Stand In Likely Post-Goff By-Election

“The Green Party’s priority is changing the Government in 2017, and as part of that we’ve decided that we won’t stand a candidate in the probable Mt Roskill by-election... This decision shows the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Green Party is working." More>>

ALSO:

Wellington: Predator Free Capital Plan

Wellington City Council (WCC), the Greater Wellington Regional Council (GWRC) and NEXT Foundation, today announced a joint collaboration to make Wellington the first Predator Free capital city in the world. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Judith Collins’ Efforts At Self Correction

Thousands of prisoners currently in prison may be entitled to an earlier release than expected – and compensation – because Corrections has incorrectly calculated their term of imprisonment. Unless of course, the government buries its mistakes by changing the law and retro-actively getting itself off the hook… More>>

ALSO:

More Justice & Corrections

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Politics
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news