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Veterans, family to march side-by-side

Wednesday, 23rd April, 2008

Descendants of World War One and World War Two veterans will not be sent to the back of Broken Hill's Anzac Day parade.

At this year's Anzac Day march in Sydney, descendants have been asked to march at the rear, rather than with the unit the veteran served in as per usual.

The request comes from the NSW Returned Servicemen's League (RSL).

But Des Kennedy of the local RSL sub-branch said it would be business as usual in Broken Hill on Anzac Day this Friday.

The State RSL made the request after talking to veterans, some of whom were feeling squeezed out by the large number of descendants marching alongside them.

One descendent can honor a veteran's service by marching, wearing medals on their right breast.

Mr Kennedy said pushing descendants to the back was not relevant in Broken Hill, given the comparatively small size of the march.

"We won't be doing that here," Mr Kennedy said.

"We don't set down any sort of rules like that, laying out how people can march."

While a procession order is set out, descendants can still march amongst a veteran's unit, or accompany a veteran as desired.

"Sadly, there aren't that many veterans left marching," said Mr Kennedy.

"Most of them will be on a bus. I reckon this might be the last year or second last year you'll see any marching.

"It's cruel, but that's what time does to us all."

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