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Blue Blogging Soapbox
...rambling rants, thoughts and musings on mostly political topics - from your late night blogger.

Monday, April 24, 2006

The Great Flag Debate Pt II 
(en francais)

After publishing my previous post, I came across this article which as far as I'm concerned reinforces my opinion that the correct decision was to return to the tradition as it was.

Time to tone down official mourning as Afghan casualties climb, say analysts

By BRUCE CHEADLE

OTTAWA (CP) - Defence Minister Gordon O'Connor wrote this letter explaining the Harper government's protocol on national remembrance:

I would like to take this opportunity to explain the Government of Canada's policy regarding national remembrance; which has been critized by members of the Opposition.

For more than 80 years, our national tradition with respect to those who have died in the service of our country has been to honour all of them equally on November 11th, Remembrance Day. On this day the national flag is lowered to half-mast on all federal buildings and establishments throughout Canada, including the Peace Tower, from sunrise to sunset. This policy ensures that our nation equally and non-discriminately respects and honours our fallen service members.

In the event of a Canadian Forces' operational death, the Department of National Defence protocol ensures flags will be half-masted within the operational base, the home base of the member, and the National Defence Headquarters from the day of death until sunset the day of the funeral. Also, all flags within the service (Navy, Army, or Air Force) of the member will be half-masted from sunrise to sunset on the day of the funeral.

The previous Liberal government broke with this long-standing tradition that confidently brought Canada through its wartime history and instead decided on an ad-hoc basis to lowering the flag of the Peace Tower. As Minister of National Defence, I can tell you that this adhockery unfairly distinguished some of those who died in Afghanistan from those who have died in current and previous operations. Lowering the Peace Tower's flag on November 11th ensures that all of Canada's fallen heroes are justly honoured.

There is no greater loss to a family than that of a loved one and there is no greater loss to the Canadian Forces family than that of one of its own.

Their contributions and sacrifices in defence of Canada will never be forgotten.

The Honourable Gordon O'Connor

Minister of National Defence

Paul Synnott at 1:47 a.m.    | en francais | Go to Top|


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