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New Zealand to mark Vietnam Veterans’ Day

 

Members of the public are invited to join the annual commemoration to mark Vietnam Veterans’ Day this Wednesday 18 August at Pukeahu National War Memorial Park.

"More than 3,000 New Zealand military personnel served in Vietnam between 1964 and 1972," says Brodie Stubbs, Manager Te Pae Mahara, Manatū Taonga Ministry for Culture and Heritage.

"In addition, around 300 civilian medical and aid workers also travelled from New Zealand to help the people of South Vietnam.

"Sadly, thirty-nine New Zealanders ultimately lost their lives, two civilians were amongst them. Many more were wounded or suffered the effects of toxins such as Agent Orange-effects which continued into succeeding generations.

"This commemoration provides an opportunity to remember the service and sacrifice of those lost, and to acknowledge the ongoing impact of war carried by those who came home and their families.

"We also reflect on the heavy human cost of the war to the Vietnamese people," said Brodie Stubbs.

Sometimes referred to as the Second Indo-China War, the conflict in Vietnam lasted from about 1960 until 1975. It is often described as the longest and most contentious military experience of the twentieth century, and New Zealand’s involvement attracted significant political and public debate.

Wednesday’s Act of Remembrance ceremony will be attended by the Minister for Veterans’ Affairs Hon Meka Whaitiri, Vietnam War veterans, representatives from other veteran organisations, the Red Cross, members of the diplomatic corps and members of the New Zealand Defence Force.

People wishing to attend Wednesday’s commemoration are asked to arrive at the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior at Pukeahu National War Memorial Park at 10.45am for an 11am start.

More information about New Zealand’s involvement in the Vietnam War is available at:

Vietnam War, NZHistory, New Zealand history online

Vietnam War Oral History Project

Any changes to the event will be publicised on the Pukeahu events webpage mch.govt.nz/pukeahu/news-events/events and on the Pukeahu Facebook page facebook.com/pukeahu

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