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PM to present NZOSM medals to Next of Kin

Wednesday 26 November 2003

Media Advisory – Photo and Interview Opportunity

PM to present medals to Next of Kin at the final NZOSM ceremony tomorrow

Prime Minister Helen Clark and Minister of Defence Mark Burton will present 45 engraved New Zealand Operational Service Medals to the relatives of personnel who died overseas on operational service since 1945, at the Auckland War Memorial Museum tomorrow at 1700 hours.

This is the second of two medal presentation ceremonies solely for the Next of Kin of those on the post WWII Roll of Honour. The first ceremony was held at Parliament on 3 September 2003 where the Prime Minister and the Minister of Defence presented the NZOSM to 49 families.

The medals are presented to the Next of Kin as a public acknowledgement of their sacrifice. More than 200 people are expected to attend the ceremony, including relatives of personnel who died in Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Thailand and East Timor.

Although the families of the East Timor casualties will not be available for media interviews, a number of other families have offered to share their story with the New Zealand public.

After a public campaign to find all the relatives of personnel who died for New Zealand, only 11 families remain unidentified.

The New Zealand Operational Services Medal (NZOSM) has only recently been instituted and recognises all New Zealand personnel who have served our country since 3 September 1945. More than 17,000 medals have already been issued.

NZOSM Presentation Ceremony

Thursday 27 November 2003 at 1700 hours
Auckland War Memorial Museum (Hall of Memories)

Event Details
Families will arrive at 1600 hours
The Prime Minister and the Minister of Defence will arrive at 1700 hours (Powhiri)
Presentation by the Prime Minister and the Minister of Defence
Next of Kin response by Mr Ahipene Rangi Paenga
The Prime Minister will depart at 1800 - 1830 hours

General Information
The NZOSM will be presented to relatives of personnel who died overseas on operational service since 1945 and will include personnel who died in Japan, Korea, Vietnam, Thailand and East Timor.
The New Zealand Operational Services Medal (NZOSM) was recently instituted to recognise all New Zealand personnel who served the country since 3 September 1945.
One of the reasons for the creation of the NZOSM was a veteran request for medals that clearly identified that individuals had served New Zealand.
On 11 June 2002 at the inaugural presentation ceremony at Parliament, the NZOSM was presented to four of the families of those who died in service (two in Korea and two in Vietnam) for New Zealand. At this ceremony 12 living veterans also received the NZOSM.
More than 17,000 New Zealand Operational Service Medals have since been issued.
The only medals to be engraved are those presented to the next of kin of those who died on operational service.
For the 125 individuals who died in military operations since WWII two special NZOSM presentation ceremonies have been organised to recognise their service and their families. The medals are presented to the next of kin as a public acknowledgement of their sacrifice.
This is the second of the two medal presentation ceremonies solely for the next of kin of those on the post WWII Roll of Honour. The Prime Minister and the Minister of Defence will present 45 families with medals.
The first ceremony was held at Parliament on 3 September 2003 where the Prime Minister and Minister of Defence presented the NZOSM to 49 families.

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