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National War Memorial Park Scrapping A 'Disgrace'

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Rick Barker
Rick Barker

26 June 2009 - The Government's decision to stop the development of the National War Memorial Parkl is a disgrace, says Labour's veterans affairs spokesperson Rick Barker.

"The current state of the lower ground at the National War Memorial is disgraceful. So is this decision by the National Government," Rick Barker said.

"Martin Luther King had it exactly right when he said it's always the right time to do the right thing.

"The grounds around the National War Memorial need to befit the dignity and solemnity of this monument. They need to reflect the respect that New Zealand has for its men and women who served and lost their lives for the sake of our freedom and the freedom of others," Rick Barker said.

"As I stood up having placed a flower on the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior yesterday, at the ceremony to mark the 59th Anniversary of the start of the war in Krea, it was impossible not to think about the ugliness of the memorial's surrounds.

"The crudely fenced off gravel and weeds and the main road running in front is an eyesore and an affront to what should be sacred memories."

Rick Barker said he had been looking forward to the day when the Memorial would be properly finished "to allow it to become the place of contemplation it should be.

"I wonder what the King and Queen of Spain thought this week as they left the sanctuary and walked to the Tomb of the Unknown Warrior."

Rick Barker said some duties and projects should transcend others. "Some things just have to be on the 'must be done' list regardless, and creating a respectful National War Memorial Park is one of these.

"Prime Minister John Key and Arts and Culture Minister Chris Finlayson must commit themselves to doing the right thing and completing the grounds. They shouldn't need to be told to do their duty. The scrapping of funding is a disgrace."

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