May 31, 2008

The March

Today's march through Wellington by the Vietnam veterans was quite moving. The number of people marching was impressive and it was good to see a number of former colleagues marching. I had not realised that a number of younger people who I have worked with were children of Vietnam vets. it was good to see them marching as well. Obviously those at the front carrying portraits of those who did not return alive from the war was the most moving scene. I was pleased to see so many other Wellingtonians lining the march route and clapping. You could see that this had a big impact on those marching.

The timing of this apology and march was interesting and really drove home the fact that we are at a point of generational change. The current head of the airforce and a few serving officers were marching, but they are almost the last veterans of Vietnam still in uniform. Seeing how aged the vets were was a bit of a sobering experience also.

The march was not without it moments of humour. Almost being run over by a running Mark Sainsbury was funny. I don't think Mark has run that fast - to get to the front of the march again - for quite some time.