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RSA Disappointed by Comments
RSA National Media Release
The Royal New Zealand Returned and Services Association is deeply disappointed by the historically inaccurate and disrespectful comments made by journalists on a National Radio panel last week.
"Australians and Kiwi servicemen and women have served side-by-side for over a century and RSA members will be disgusted by the disrespectful criticism of Australia's long and proud military heritage just days out from Anzac Day," says RSA National Chief Executive Dr Stephen Clarke.
A military historian himself, Dr Clarke said that the RSA supports further historical investigation into the meaning of Anzac and its military history, indeed is a partner in two major historical projects on both sides of the Tasman, but such generic and derogatory statements are not only historically inaccurate they are disrespectful to the memory of those who have served and died in both countries.
"Broad, inflammatory and unsupported statements is not history," says Dr Clarke, "but as we approach the centenary of World War One there will be many that will try to cut down the 'Tall Poppy' represented by the resurgence of interest in our Anzac heritage.
"On Anzac Day Australians and New Zealanders stand together side-by-side all around the world in remembrance of the service and sacrifice by both countries and it is important that these recent comments are placed in this wider context," says Dr Clarke.