Veterans’ Affairs Minister Craig Foss today announced the commemorative programme for the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War.
“More than 3800 New Zealanders served in Vietnam between 1963 and 1975. Sadly, 37 died during the conflict. The 50th anniversary, to be commemorated on 18 August, is an important opportunity to acknowledge and honour all our Vietnam veterans,” Mr Foss says.
A short wreath-laying ceremony will be held at Pukeahu National War Memorial Park in Wellington, followed by full commemorative service at the nearby Michael Fowler Centre.
Vietnam War wreath on display inside the Hall of Memories in 2011.
The wreath-laying ceremony will be attended by representatives of the 37 Vietnam fallen, executive members of the Royal New Zealand Returned and Services’ Association, New Zealand Vietnam Veterans’ Association, and Royal New Zealand Artillery Association.
“Given the time of year and unpredictable Wellington weather, the main service will be held indoors. This will include commemorative addresses, readings and a recitation of the Roll of Honour,” Mr Foss says.
All Vietnam veterans, their families and members of the public are invited to attend the services.
“I encourage Kiwis to attend a service to learn more about our involvement in the Vietnam War and reflect on the service and sacrifice of our military and civilian personnel,” Mr Foss says.
Vietnam veterans will be invited to register their interest in attending the services with the New Zealand Defence Force.
Thirty Vietnam veterans, chosen by ballot, will attend commemorative services in Australia on the same day. More information on the registration process and ballot will be released on 3 June.
Updated on 17th August 2016