Royal Canadian Legion

ww2medalsThe wearing of medals as allowed by law in Canada.legion

I might be opening a can of worms here but I sincerely believe its time we took a second look at this law which forbids anyone but the winner of medals to wear them. Its not clear to me why this was considered a necessary law in Canada. It is quite permissible for a next of kin in the UK-Australia-New Zealand to wear deceased veterans medals, as long as they are worn on the right side. I can only imagine the pride of a young child attending a Remembrance Day parade and wearing his/her late fathers/grandfathers medals. What could be wrong with this? are we to believe it is better to keep these medals hidden from view. I feel particularly strong about this subject because World War two veterans are now thin on the ground and with them their medals. There was a time when Second World War medals were the most prominent of medals at any parade. If the law cannot be changed these medals will surely disappear from sight. I realize there are medals displayed at many Legion Branches, but there are many more in shoe boxes, drawers and perhaps in frames over the mantle piece.  The War medals and Campaign Stars are a valuable part of our history and should be displayed whenever possible. On the 10th Nov 2014 I spoke at an Island school Remembrance Day ceremony and afterward mingled with some of the children, they were all very interested in my medals. They wanted to touch them ask questions about them,  ask how I won them. Surely the whole purpose of Remembrance day is to remember? and what better way than allowing the medals of deceased veterans to be worn by proud relatives. The only argument against that I have heard is a rather weak one in this day and age, “They didn’t earn them” that is not much of an argument in my opinion. I realize there will always be the phoney, such as the imposter sergeant with a chest full of medals at the National Memorial Services this year. It has happened before and no doubt will happen again and there is little we can do about it. However, this is not about imposters its about remembering our veterans. I caught the glimpse on the TV of an Ottawa spectator wearing Second World War medals on his right side. It indicates some people are already ignoring this law! Finally I’d like to add this point. When the Rustico Branch #13 closed its doors for the final time, they had a very impressive medal display. I suggested the whole display could be placed in trust at the local school, the idea was turned down. The medals were returned to the families of the former owners and have now probably disappeared for all time. In my own case I’m already 75 and my days are surely numbered, I would be very proud to know that my Grandchildren might continue to wear my medals to future Remembrance Day Ceremonies.

God Bless an d keep reading

About irishroverpei

Author of "Lily & Me", "The Royal Navy & Me" and Chapter XXl Armageddon. Writer, blogger and RN Submariner, antique automobile enthusiast.
This entry was posted in family, HM Submarines, HMS Cockade, hms ganges, military, veterans and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Royal Canadian Legion

  1. baconburner says:

    It was very enlightening here in the UK to see Widows, Children and presumably Grandchildren Proudly wearing their Relations Medals on the Right side. Canada is lacking in this way of honouring our Veterans who are no longer with us. If you start a petition Ben I will sign it.
    Robby a Proud Canadian Sadly I cannot load the photo of my Family Shadow Board WW1.WW2, plus the Cold War and Kosovo and Afghanistan My Nephew an RCR (Retired)

    • irishroverpei says:

      Hi Robby I forwarded a copy of the letter to Provincial Command, will have wait and see what happens from here!!!

  2. Phyllis says:

    Wow Ben, I’m really appalled to say the least that there would be a need to make a law which forbids anyone but the winner of medals to wear them. Veterans are winners in every way and their medals must be allowed to be worn either by the Veteran or by his/her family. No question!! We have far too many so called important people make laws that they know nothing about or have no right in even suggesting such nonsense take place. Wear your medals proudly, Ben and I too hope that children and grandchildren will wear medals of their fathers, grandfathers or what have you. I believe as you do, that we need to remember and honor our Veterans.

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