Sorry (1)

Twenty first century governments
aplolgise for failures to meet their
job descriptons which is a forward
step in democracy but will it change
their future attitudes and directions ?

Over fifty years ago our
government sent fit trained
soldiers from our regular
army to fight an unpopular
war far away, some to be
injured, some killed. As they
returned from tours of duty
they were quietly slipped out
airport back doors to evade
angry protesters against that
far away war, their injuries,
their dead never acknowledged.

Over thirty years later the
government apologised for
this lack of recognition and
support, held victory parades
for the servicemen who had
followed government orders.

In heavy irony the government
spokesperson had been active
in those long ago protests.

The apology was appreciated
but the lost thirty odd years
were not brought back.

Sorry (1)

7 thoughts on “Sorry (1)

  1. Strangely a similar thing happened with British Bomber Command after WW2. Men were sent oot to carpet bomb German cities into submission. Their fatality rate was very high. After the war, London began to fill with memorials to the different part of the services, but not to Bomber Command — or indeed to the women who put their lives on the line like my aunt who repaired Spitfires on airfields while under attack. The bomber command one I can understand as the carpet bombing can be described as a war crime. But the women?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No it does not make sense ignoring the women. Bomber Command and the women were only carrying out orders decided between the government and the Chiefs of Staff. Interestingly the NZ apology in this instance was read out by the then Prime Minister (Labour Government) who was one of the leaders of the anti Vietnam war protests for some years.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. In New Zealand the soldiers who went to Vietnam were volunteers from the regular army, who had already gone through the usual army selection processes. They were not conscripted. But they did choose to follow orders from the government. I believe other countries who sent servicemen to Vietnam had conscription or drafting for young men within a certain age group. I can see that the idea of an apology to those servicemen would open a huge can of worms for a government. As it was, our Prime Minister who read out the apology in 2008 had in fact been among the leaders of the protest movement back in the 1960’s. So big irony there.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s