Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Is this what they fought for?

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Is this what they fought for?

    Sorry to vent, but a local "situation" has got my dander up, so I thought I'd share it with y'all.

    Background: It's coming up to Remembrance Day, which means the annual Poppy Campaign has been underway for the last week or so. Things this year got a little ugly when the following letter appeared in our local paper (some details removed to protect both the innocent and the otherwise):


    (Headline alluding to business here)

    On Friday, Oct. 30, the Royal Canadian Legion Poppy Campaign got underway. A friend and I volunteered to distribute the poppy boxes for Branch *** of the legion and our route was *********.

    Generally, we were pleased with the reception we got at approximately three dozen businesses at the centre.

    Most of the owners, managers and employees were very understanding and more than happy to take at least one of the poppy boxes and place it in a prominent position at their place of business.

    Some of them accepted several, making room by moving things around.
    All in all, it was a successful day for the poppy campaign and what it stands for. Except for one very sad issue that left us shocked and with a bitter taste.

    As I have stated, there are about three dozen businesses at the centre, and all but one of them offered to display at least one poppy box. In doing so, they take on no responsibility to replace the box should it get stolen. They have but to make a phone call if they want the box picked up, and, in any case, it would be picked up after Nov. 11.

    No time is expected of the employees to guard or protect the box; it is simply left to collect donations from anyone inclined to help with the campaign.

    A representative of the business refusing to display a box said they didn't have the room. I noticed plenty of space.

    The poppy box takes up about half a square foot. My friend, a veteran of the Canadian Air Force, tried to explain that this was to support the veterans. They still didn't have the room. Huh.

    We plan to boycott the business, a restaurant. We also plan to let as many veterans as we can know that this particular restaurant will not make room to display a poppy box.
    "The Men who were not the Man who was not Jack the Ripper!"

  • #2
    Part two---arrrrgh!

    I lost half of what I typed when I posted

    Letter, continued:


    The owners, perhaps, came to this country for a better life than they had in their own. They now enjoy the benefits of this great Canada that our veterans fought and died for. So would they help support the veterans that are still around, or their dependants, so many of whom are in need of assistance through the poppy campaign? Could they allow a tiny space to be used for a poppy box?

    They did not have the room and seemed not prepared to spend so little effort to make room. How soon we forget.

    I think there are some veterans who might say we don't have room for people who have forgotten why this country is great. But that would be politically incorrect, wouldn't it?

    The restaurant refusing the poppy box was the ***** *****.

    Perhaps the owners will make amends and buy and place a wreath at one of the many Remembrance Day ceremonies on Nov. 11. In case they have forgotten, that's the day we remember our fallen, and pay our respects to our veterans.

    (signed)
    "The Men who were not the Man who was not Jack the Ripper!"

    Comment


    • #3
      Some notes:

      1) While the businessman is, indeed, an immigrant, the letter omits the fact that he has run the (extremely successful) business in question for some 25 years. Contrary to the impression given, he is not some ignorant third world peasant fresh off the boat.

      2) The letter also omits the fact that, during those 25 years, the business in question has always allowed the Legion to place a poppy box on the premises.

      3) Contrary to the claim that the box was casually denied with the lame excuse that there was not enough enough room, the letter alludes to the real reason for the denial in the otherwise incongruous segment talking about theft and responsibility. As it was revealed later, the real issue was that last year the poppy box was stolen from the establishment, and the owner did not want to risk the embarassment of again collecting money for the veterans only to have it stolen before it could be contributed.

      4) The letter was signed as if it was simply from a concerned member of the public--it was later revealed that the person in question is a high ranking member of the local executive for the Legion. Despite the claim that he was writing the letter merely as a volunteer, his position within the organization renders such a claim completely untenable.

      The combination of a kneejerk reaction toward any perceived disrespect towards veterans, combined with the xenophobic race-baiting, led to a (hopefully) small but (unfortunately) vocal endorsement of the boycott, causing the businessman to cave in to the Legions demands to both install the poppy box on the premises and a direct contribution "to the veterans", with a special fundraising breakfast thrown in for good measure.

      This was announced in two follow-up letters: One from the businessman in question, another from the original rabble-rouser..er...letter writer. Despite the calling off of the boycott, many of the supporters have pledged to continue boycotting the restaurant because they feel that the owner's contributions were "not sincere" and aimed at restoring his image (gee, ya think?). While I'm sure the business will survive, I'm personally appalled at the fall-out.
      "The Men who were not the Man who was not Jack the Ripper!"

      Comment


      • #4
        So the upshot is that this year, for the first time that I can remember, I will not be wearing a poppy for Remembrance Day. This saddens me a lot: My grandfather was a veteran not only of WW2, but of two peacekeeping missions in Egypt. His wedding pictures show a man on a stretcher because as a dispatch rider he ran into a cat-whisker wire and broke his legs. I've always worn a poppy in his memory, but this week it has been transformed from a symbol of fond remembrance into a symbol of grubby extortion and mean-spirited race-baiting, and I cannot bring myself to validate the tactics of the Legion by wearing one.

        Anyhoo---just wanted to get that off my (poppyless) chest. Carry on....
        "The Men who were not the Man who was not Jack the Ripper!"

        Comment


        • #5
          Hi Magpie,

          Is Rembrance Day in Canada to honor living or fallen veterans or both? The same date in the U.S. that we call Veteran's Day is mostly to honor living veterans. Our holiday that mainly honors fallen veterans is Memorial Day which is the last Monday in May. We also have a second tier holiday called Armed Forces Day that honors those currently serving.

          Comment


          • #6
            Hi Magpie,

            Sorry to hear about that unforntunate incident, but may I counter it with my own recent experience.

            Last Monday I was in the small Lincolnshire town of Stamford and having parked the car I made my way to the town centre to do some shopping On the way I was approached by a gang of teenage lads. Am I about to be mugged I wondered? Well not exactly, all they were doing was selling poppys, very enthusiastic but very well mannered; however having just donated all my change to a parking meter I was unable to oblige. As I walked to the shops even more gangs of spotty youths were doing much the same, all in a friendly and courtious manner, of course when I came out of the shop I was happy to put my pound in their tin and avail myself of a poppy.

            So this tradition of rememberance, which is ninety years old this year, it gave me a good feeling that we are still remembering those who gave their lives, and that another generation will carry this on perhaps for another ninety years.

            May I end with these famous lines written by John Mc Crae, a Canadian soldier;

            "In Flander Fields"

            In Flanders fields the poppies blow
            Between the crosses, row on row,
            That mark our place; and in the sky
            The larks, still bravely singing, fly
            Scarce heard amid the guns below.
            We are the Dead. Short days ago
            We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
            Loved and were loved, and now we lie
            In Flanders fields.
            Take up our quarrel with the foe:
            To you from failing hands we throw
            The torch; be yours to hold it high.
            If ye break faith with us who die
            We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
            In Flanders fields.

            John

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Stan Reid View Post
              Hi Magpie,

              Is Rembrance Day in Canada to honor living or fallen veterans or both? The same date in the U.S. that we call Veteran's Day is mostly to honor living veterans. Our holiday that mainly honors fallen veterans is Memorial Day which is the last Monday in May. We also have a second tier holiday called Armed Forces Day that honors those currently serving.

              Hi Stan.

              Although Armistace Day was initially founded to remember those who died during war, later it became a way of remembering all veterans, and in the last few years has been expanded again to honour those currently serving. The services at the War Memorial in Ottawa are incredibly moving, and draw tens of thousands of spectators.
              "The Men who were not the Man who was not Jack the Ripper!"

              Comment


              • #8
                Ah yes, Flanders Fields

                The bane of ever Canadian schoolchild, since we had to learn it by heart and recite it every year. I was considered a little weird, because I've always loved it.

                For any of my American or English friends looking for something to capture the spirit of Armistace Day, I'd heartily recommend picking up a copy of Paschendaele. Very good movie.
                "The Men who were not the Man who was not Jack the Ripper!"

                Comment


                • #9
                  Hi Magpie, Stan, John et al.

                  During my just completed visit to England, I was glad to see the poppy boxes at certain establishments and to see people wearing poppies as well. I did not, as it happened, contribute because our finances were very tight for the visit. On the other hand I suppose I could have foregone that pint and contributed. . . .

                  Magpie, I understand your argument about the actual circumstances in regard to the establishment and agree that the poppy appeal person who wrote the complaint did not accurately describe what had occurred re this year versus last year. I can well understand the merchant's viewpoint and your ire on the misrepresentation.

                  John, thanks for sharing your encounters with the teenagers of Stamford, Lincs., raising money for the poppy appeal. Good to see they were taking an interest. I hope though that the money went to help the veterans and their families, as it should!

                  There is a thread at Yo Liverpool about the British poppies appeal that some of you may wish to look in on. See "why wear a poppy.".

                  All the best

                  Chris
                  Christopher T. George, Lyricist & Co-Author, "Jack the Musical"
                  https://www.facebook.com/JackTheMusical/ Hear sample song at https://tinyurl.com/y8h4envx.

                  Organizer, RipperCon #JacktheRipper-#True Crime Conferences, April 2016 and 2018.
                  Hear RipperCon 2016 & 2018 talks at http://www.casebook.org/podcast/.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    From a thread at Click Liverpool

                    Anger at cosmetics chain that bans poppies
                    Christopher T. George, Lyricist & Co-Author, "Jack the Musical"
                    https://www.facebook.com/JackTheMusical/ Hear sample song at https://tinyurl.com/y8h4envx.

                    Organizer, RipperCon #JacktheRipper-#True Crime Conferences, April 2016 and 2018.
                    Hear RipperCon 2016 & 2018 talks at http://www.casebook.org/podcast/.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Hi Chris.

                      It seems that the British Legion is a lot more reasonable than our lot

                      I can sort of see the store's point though--there's no point in having a uniform policy if you are going to be constantly poking holes in it for this charity or that cause.
                      "The Men who were not the Man who was not Jack the Ripper!"

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Hi Magpie

                        The difference between this charity and others, though, is that without the war effort there would be no Bodycare or whatever it's called.

                        I'm one of those who never even knew they existed, so I won't have to remember to boycott them.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Personally I find that the British Legion is quite a reasonable organisation. But I don't think the same of some other members of my own community who consider themselves "rememberance police".

                          Last year I was trying to encourage other local Scout leaders to do more than just march on a sunday, because rememberance should be about teaching the kids about reflection and sacrifice, not just marching, carrying flags and laying wreaths.

                          I recieved a scathing email from another Scout leader (who is also a local church warden) saying that I was belittling the importance of the march by these comments. I replied by saying that I was in no way doing so, but that it was not the most important thing about the time of year if the kids had no idea what it was about (which many do not truly understand).

                          Eventually the Area Scout Commissoner had to step in and tell the woman that it was clear to everyone else the intention and meanings of my suggestions and that she was lucky to recieve a clarification and apology for me for coming across wrong in her eyes, as he felt it was in no way needed so to get off her high horse.
                          Jon

                          "It is far more comfortable to point a finger and declare someone a devil, than to call upon your imagination to try to understand their world."


                          http://www.jlrees.co.uk



                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Stan Reid View Post
                            We also have a second tier holiday called Armed Forces Day that honors those currently serving.
                            Btw, Armed Forces Day in the United States is the third Saturday in May.

                            Comment

                            Working...
                            X