Remembrance day is over for another year, it was a beautiful day on PEI for the parades and services, the crowds were large and the act of remembrance very well participated. But it brings me to the subject of my letter to the editor sent on 30th Oct to over thirty papers from coast to coast.To date only silence! not one letter appeared in objection to my desire to have the law changed. I can’t say with any certainty that no responses appeared in other papers that I had no access to. Nevertheless, I would have thought something would have turned up on Face Book had someone seen a negative comment. So where does that leave me now, I could think that perhaps the tide is turning in my favour to change this law. Then again I suppose I could have simply been ignored? The big question, is where to go next? and I believe it must be an attempt to have an MP bring forward a private members bill to amend article 419 allowing relatives to wear their late one loves medals on the right breast to remembrance occasions. So folks the campaign continues.
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/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
God Bless and keep reading.