The attached letter below was sent to Dominion Command two weeks ago, no response to date, but I really didn’t expect one. I’m asking everyone who reads and agrees with my cause to please share this. Please share it as far and as wide as possible, I can’t believe all relatives of veterans are in favour of the present Legion law. I also realize it will not change simply based on my letter. People all across this nation need to know and demand it be changed. I can’t do it alone I need your help and support. So please share, re-post, copy to other social media sites, call your local Legion, call your MP, call anyone whom you think needs to know or might help
I began campaigning to change the law on who may wear medals in January 2015. I’m surprised at the stubborn resistance encountered to date. I first sent a resolution to the Provincial Command, it was turned down. No reason was offered, in fact I wasn’t even notified of the decision. I have since forwarded the same resolution to Dominion Command. The objections I hear make little or no sense at all. They are seemingly stated only to oppose my views. Allow me to offer a few examples from those who believe this law must not be changed. This letter appeared in the May/June edition of the Legion Magazine, “In Favour of Protecting Medals” I wont quote the whole story just this part. Quote-“If a man or woman can wear his or her spouses medals, can a son or daughter? How about a good friend or some other interested party. Where will it stop. Next we will have someone appear at a Remembrance Day ceremony wearing the uniform and medals of a Canadian soldier, even though that person has never served – or did that already happen? end quote. His last reference regarding the phoney soldier (apart from the sarcasm) falls under an entirely different law and is indeed a criminal offense. The individual in question was arrested and was charged.The imposter story has absolutely no bearing on the law in question. Another member stated the following, when he died his family would frame his medals and carry the frame to Remembrance Day Ceremonies. (Nothing wrong with that if that is his wish). Another said, if you didn’t earn the medal you couldn’t wear it. Finally, I was told by a member when he died he didn’t want anyone wearing his medals.
The sad thing about this whole issue is the unpleasantness and animosity I have encountered from Legion members. Its as if I have committed some form of sacrilegious offense against the Legion. How dare I suggest the Legion needs to change or that they might be in error. Perhaps a more knowledgeable Legion member can explain to me why changing this law will have such devastating consequences for the Legion? All I’m asking for is simply that a Veteran’s widow or family member, if they choose, may wear their late husbands medals on the right breast to Remembrance Day Ceremonies and other suitable occasions. Is it unreasonable to think they could do so without violating the criminal code of Canada. As the law stands, an 80 year old widow wearing her late husbands medals could be arrested and prosecuted by Police Authorities. That is of course, if one could find a police officer willing to make such an arrest. Has the Legion even considered the political fallout from such an outrageous action. Just imagine the media field day that would follow. The Legion would be all over the National News and National papers. On social network the story would surely go viral. I honestly do not understand why we need to have this dispute at all?? The solution is simple, removed the law, then those who chose to wear a relatives medal can and those against do not have to.
Respectfully Submitted F. Ben Rodgers.CD. Wellington Br 17 PEI
I have attached a copy taken from the official rules of the Royal British legion.
‘The official rules for wearing medals The medals awarded to a deceased Service/ex-Service person may be worn on the right breast by a near relative (mother, father, sister, brother, wife, husband, daughter and son). Not more than one group should be worn by any individual’. No action will be taken officially if anyone wears a relations medals.
Surely this is common sense???? My final comment! Legions are failing and closing all across the nation, but all I hear is “Hey!! we can’t change that law, its been on the books for years and it works..
RESOLUTION TABLED BY COMRADE F.BEN RODGERS
RESOLUTION : TO CHANGE THE LAW PERTAINING TO THE WEARING OF.
WHEREAS : THE LAW PRESENTLY FORBIDS ANYONE OTHER THAN
OWNERS OF MEDALS FROM WEARING SAID MEDALS.
WHEREAS: CHANGING THAT LAW TO ALLOW RELATIVES OF
DECEASED VETERANS TO WEAR THEIR MEDALS ON THEIR
RIGHT BREAST, ON REMEMBRANCE DAY, AND OTHER
WHEREAS: THE EFFECT OF SUCH A CHANGE IN THE LAW WOULD
PROMOTE REMEMBRANCE. WEARING THEIR GRAND-
PARENT’S MEDALS WOULD BE A MOTIVATION OF
PRIDE AND OF LEARNING THE HISTORY OF SUCH
MEDALS. SURELY THIS WOULD MEET THE AIMS OF
THE ROYAL CANADIAN LEGION
THEREFORE: BE IT RESOLVED THAT COMRADE F.BEN RODGERS
PETITION DOMINION COMMAND
TO REQUEST THE GOVERNMENT DEPARTMENT OF
JUSTICE REVERSE THE LAW , PRESENTLY IN FORCE,
PERTAINING TO THE WEARING OF MEDALS.
God Bless and keep reading