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Lest We Forget: Remember To Remember On Wednesday

Canadian Vimy Cemetery No 2

There is sure to be a plethora of media noise emanating from my southern neighbours for the next weeks, if not months (years?). Even with the election of Joe Biden, after four long days of painstaking ballot counting, the fireworks are not going to end soon.

And once again he has, sadly, opted to be as un-presidential as possible and incite his followers to ignore the democratic process.

The incumbent has dug in his heels and will not concede defeat, nor agree to a smooth transition. Once again he has an opportunity to lead the country in a mature, responsible, statesman-like peaceful manner. And once again he has, sadly, opted to be as un-presidential as possible and incite his followers to ignore the democratic process.

This election has been conducted against the backdrop of the Novel Coronavirus; voting was different, with many ballots mailed in by citizens who chose not to gather at polling places where social distancing would be almost impossible. Therefore there was a delay in the counting.

Many women and men have, over the decades, given their lives to ensure this freedom

The United States does many things very well, running elections is not one of them. Regardless, to a citizen, they claim to respect the right of free elections. The ability to chose who will run the country, make laws and enforce them is sacrosanct. Many people around the world do not have this privilege. My wife is from Venezuela where they may well cast ballots, but the outcome is never in doubt.

But in the US votes matter. As they do here in Canada, and other democracies. Many women and men have, over the decades, given their lives to ensure this freedom. Wars have been fought and won in the name of freedom. This fact is, not surprisingly, rarely considered while standing in line to vote, or dropping off a ballot at the post office.

With the current news cycle focused on the US election and COVID-19, it is imperative that we take a moment this Wednesday, November 11, Remembrance Day, to remember all of those who gave their lives for our freedom. It doesn’t matter what party you vote for, left or right, Conservative or Liberal, the ability to choose is what free elections are all about.

My grandfather G.E Blackwell and his son Russell, my uncle. There names are etched in the local Catholic church with all parishioners who served.

My great-grandfather did his best to do what he believed was his part, but was too old. His son, my grandfather fought in the trenches of France and Belgium in the First World War, my father and uncles did the same, perhaps not trench warfare, in World War II. Fortunately they all came home, many others were not so lucky.

Let’s remember to remember this Wednesday.

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Remenber

DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+

 

DCMontreal Commentary

Remembrance Day 2017

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Remembrance Day 2015

DCS_Grad_2 DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DC on Twitter @DCMontreal and on Facebook, and add him on Google+
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In Flanders Fields: 100 Years Later

Poppy

This Wednesday, November 11th is Remembrance Day. A time to pay tribute to those who lost their lives in service to the country. While official ceremonies will be held on Wednesday, many local communities will honour the fallen today, the Sunday before.

This year marks the centennial of John McCrae’s writing of In Flanders Field 

Flanders

It is thought that doctor John McCrae (30th November 1872 — 28th January 1918) began the draft for his famous poem ‘In Flanders Fields’ on the evening of the 2nd May, 1915 in the second week of fighting during the Second Battle of Ypres.

DCS_Grad_2 DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DC on Twitter @DCMontreal and on Facebook, and add him on Google+
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The New Face of Canadian War Veterans: DCMontreal in The Globe and Mail

Below is a link to my article about the changing face of Canada’s war veterans as it appears today on the Globe and Mail site.

Just click on either image.

 

(Kevin Van Paassen/The Globe and Mail)

(Kevin Van Paassen/The Globe and Mail)

GlobeMailArticle

DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DCMontreal on Twitter and on Facebook, and add him on Google+
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Melville Avenue: Then and Now

The original photo of my grandparents was taken during the mid-1940’s as they returned from an Armistice Day parade and ceremony (now Remembrance Day). Using the little knowledge and skill I have when it comes to photo enhancement, I have positioned them at precisely the same spot on the street as it is now.  Fortunately the trees in the middle of the road that can be seen in the original have been long removed – I can vouch for this as I still live on the street!!

 

Melville_then_and_now

Me DCMontreal – Deegan Charles Stubbs – is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and an occasional Frean and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DC on Twitter @DCMontreal and on Facebook, and add him on Google+
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Remembrance Day: Lest We Forget

Lest

MeDCMontreal is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that, a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and Freans and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DC on Twitter @DCMontreal and on Facebook, and add him on Google+
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Be prepared Poppy Harlow, the Royal Canadian Legion may lay claim to your name

Look out Poppy Harlow, the Royal Canadian Legion may lay legal claim to your name!

Poppy Harlow/CNN

Poppy Harlow/CNN

Just when you thought the asininity over Remembrance Day poppies was limited to large retail outlets such as Target attempting to block their sale in stores, along comes the Royal Canadian Legion itself bitching at the website Reddit for displaying a poppy on its subreddit r/canada/.

In something akin to Santa Claus laying claim to all things reindeer, the Legion wasted no time pointing out that the poppy is a trademarked entity, and they own the rights. But far from being a commercial logo, the poppy is a means of remembering those who gave their lives in war. Poppies have appeared on stamps and coins, on buildings and lapels. Can legal action against Poppy Harlow of CNN be expected?

The legion got it wrong when it tried to ban turbans and kippahs from its premises some time ago stating they were the same as hats, which are traditionally seen as a show of disrespect when worn in a Legion hall. A turban is as much a “hat” as a kilt is a skirt; which is to say not at all. They have it wrong again when they try to interfere with the respectful display of poppies.

… it is only logical that a section of the site, or SubReddit, that focuses on Canada would display a poppy as we approach November 11th

In 2004 the Legion threatened a woman who had created a hat she called the Poppy Hat because of its color. Said Peter Underhill, a Legion spokesperson ‘The “Poppy” is a trademark registered to the Royal Canadian Legion. Please remove reference to Poppy on the Poppy Hat. Thank you for your consideration’.

I’m not big fan of Reddit,  a site that gives those who want to play the role of Internet police an opportunity to “moderate” what is appropriate for posting, these folks, much like ‘Admins’ on Facebook group pages, must need to feel a sense of power. But be that as it may, it is only logical that a section of the site, or SubReddit, that focuses on Canada would display a poppy as we approach November 11th.

MeDCMontreal is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that. a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and Freans and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DC on Twitter @DCMontreal and on Facebook, and add him on Google+
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Off Target on Poppy Selling

McCraeTalk about missing the Target! You really have to wonder sometimes what people are thinking. I don’t mean that guy who just cut you off, or cruised through a red light; evidently he wasn’t thinking at all. I’m talking about those folks who are paid big money to think: public relations professionals.

Since the early 1920s the Canadian Legion has been selling commemorative poppies to honour those who were killed in war, starting with the First World War and continuing to the present victims in Afghanistan. The concept comes from the poem In Flanders Fields the opening lines of which refer to the many poppies that were the first flowers to grow in the churned-up earth of soldiers’ graves in Flanders, a region of Europe that overlies parts of Belgium and France. The poem was written by Canadian physician and Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae on 3 May 1915 after witnessing the death of his friend and fellow soldier the day before.

With this heritage, what in the name of God were the people at Target Canada thinking when they released a statement saying that the sale of poppies, traditionally done on street corners and in larger stores, would be restricted to an area outside their stores (they were kind enough to elaborate and explain they would tolerate the seller standing between the two sets of doors if the weather turned ugly – all heart these folks).

Was the idea to create a small kerfuffle in one part of the country then issue a nation-wide statement and come off as heroes? If so they certainly misread Canadians as I suspect more will remember the original banning of the poppy sales  than the too-little-too-late welcome.

Granted they have now bent over backwards in an attempt to remove the bad taste left in some potential-clients’ mouths and have in fact welcomed the Canadian Legion to set up in any of its stores across Canada and sell poppies. But the question that still boggles my small but fertile mind is who would have thought about banning the sale in the first place.

From a public image standpoint, there is nothing safer than commemorative poppies. They are non-denominational, paying respect to fallen soldiers of all, or no, religious backgrounds, they are not political, and the funds raised go to various veterans’ causes.

So what was it that made someone wake up one day and tell this huge retailer, one that is currently making a major foray into Canada, that banning the sale of poppies was the way to go? Was the idea to create a small kerfuffle in one part of the country then issue a nation-wide statement and come off as heroes? If so they certainly misread Canadians as I suspect more will remember the original banning of the poppy sales than the too-little-too-late welcome.

Today’s Daily Prompt is HONOR; I believe this post fits that category.

MeDCMontreal is a Montreal writer born and raised who likes to establish balance and juxtapositions; a bit of this and a bit of that. a dash of Yin and a soupçon of Yang, some Peaks and Freans and maybe a bit of a sting in the tail! Please follow DC on Twitter @DCMontreal and on Facebook, and add him on Google+
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