My finger is no longer poised over the send button, it has been pressed and the letter is now heading to at least thirty newspapers across Canada. Newspapers from British Columbia to Newfoundland and most points in between. Now I just have to sit back and wait to see how many papers publish it. More importantly I have to wait and see if it will have the desired effect. At the very least it should cause a stir among many veterans who are unaware of this law. Come to think of it, it will probably cause a stir among the veterans that know about this law. Whatever the out come , I believe it might cause a degree of embarrassment at the Legion Dominion HQ’s. These are the people that have ignored my emails, and have failed to supply an answer to why they believe this law is necessary. Perhaps more veterans after reading my letter will now be asking this question at their local branches. One thing is for sure, I will become either more popular within the Legion ranks or a very unpopular pariah to be avoided???The latter is the more likely! Nevertheless, it is exciting times and I’m exercising my democratic right to protest when I see a law that is wrong. One final and rather interesting fact is this, a very good friend living in the UK has also forwarded copies of my letter to several UK newspapers. It is hard to judge what if any effect this might have on my campaign but it could be interesting. It may accomplish nothing yet I somehow feel it will at least cause more embarrassment at Dominion HQ’s.
I thank the many readers of my blog for your wonderful support and encouragement. I ask if you see the letter in your local papers to please let me know. The final letter had to be modified to meet the number of word restrictions at several papers. Many allowed only 250 words, I have attached a copy below of the shortened version, I believe it still hits all the important points and gets the message across.
As November 11th approaches it is appropriate to mention an obscure and seemingly unnecessary Canadian Law pertaining to wearing of medals. After the Great War of 1914-18, cenotaphs were raised in cities,towns and villages all across the Empire. Mothers/ widows who lost love ones in that war attended the unveiling at those ceremonies. It became traditional to wear their late loved ones medals on their right breast. They did so as a mark of respect for those who made the ultimate sacrifice. That tradition continues throughout most Commonwealth countries. However, should a mother or widow in Canada wear their loved ones medals they would be subject to arrest. The law in Canada forbids anyone but the owner of medals to wear them. If an 80 year widow wore her late husbands medals on her right breast to a service in Canada she could be arrested. See article 419 of the criminal code, it does not set out a specific penalty, for summary conviction offenses, the penalty is maximum of six months imprisonment or $5,000 fine or both. What I find disturbing is the Royal Canadian Legion not only support this law, they defend it. However, if you were to ask the Royal Canadian Legion Dominion Command why they support this law, and I have done so on more than one occasion, you might wait a very long time for a clear and reasonable answer.
Respectfully Submitted F.Ben Rodgers CD. Naval Veteran
Abram Village PE. Tel 902-786-3020