Barry Soper is Newstalk ZB's Political Editor

Barry Soper: The lesson we should be teaching our kids on Anzac Day

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You've probably all seen it by now and if nothing else it's got the chattering classes working themselves into a frenzy, expressing high dudgeon that anyone would dare to protest on a day that they see as sacrosanct.

Television was conducting an interview when a twelve year old boy, the son of Winston Peters' chief of staff David Broome, interrupted and let fly at the interviewee who was there to quietly place the photos of some of the civilians who could have died during an SAS attack in Afghanistan.

Young James Broome-Isa, seemed to have trouble containing himself, venting to the protester, yelling at him to "do it tomorrow, do it the day before, do it any day but today. It's wrong, wrong, wrong," he declared as his dad stood nimbly by but chimed in that it was just inappropriate which stirred the young lad into action again saying it was so inappropriate, he couldn't believe it.

If it was my son, I would have taken him by the ear and led him away, although legally that's not permissible these days.

But at the very least his dad should have explained to him before his clearly designed-for-television rant that the day's remembered for the freedoms we have and the part our soldiers played in ensuring that was the case.

It's a day that should be used to talk about what it means to be a New Zealander and the diversity that comes with that.

Anzac Day was through the 60s and 70s seen as the ideal time to debate the issues, whether it was the Vietnam War, the peace movement or women's rights, given the number of women who have been raped and killed during war.

After the Vietnam War ended, protest on the day became less prevalent but it was rekindled in the 80s with the anti nuclear policy with David Lange provocatively using a speech on the eve of Anzac Day in the United States to declare the ANZUS defence alliance was a dead letter.

So the day is more than remembering the war dead and the service they gave to their country.

Visiting the desolate battlefields on the other side of the world, and that's most of them, with many of the old soldiers who stood over the graves of their mates, they expressed pride at the open, democratic country we now are, where we can freely express our views without fear nor favour.

Not one of them would have repeated their ghastly experience.

That's the lesson we should be teaching our kids as they gather in increasing numbers on this very special day.

- Newstalk ZB

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Barry Soper is Newstalk ZB's Political Editor

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