Sou­venir sales dis­re­spect­ful

Cape Breton Post - - OP-ED -

‘Mother Canada’ un­der­wear! Those words dis­gust me as much as they prob­a­bly dis­gust you.

It’s hard to be­lieve that the Never For­got­ten Na­tional Me­mo­rial (NFNM) pro­posed for Green Cove is truly ded­i­cated to the hon­our and re­spect of our fallen sol­diers when its pro­posed gift shop will be selling ‘Mother Canada’ un­der­wear.

More than 100 other items in­clud­ing fanny packs, candy, squeak­ing toys, golf balls and mil­i­tary ac­tion toy fig­ures will also be for sale. Be­cause of space lim­i­ta­tions I can’t list them all, but a full list of trade­marked ‘sou­venir’ items can be seen at this link: http://www.ic.gc.ca/app/opic­cipo/trdm­rks/srch/vwTrdmrk. do?lang=eng&sta­tus=OK&fileN um­ber=1600956&ex­ten­sion=0 &start­ingDoc­u­men­tIn­dexOnPage=1

Ac­cord­ing to its web page at www.nfnm.ca, ‘the Never For­got­ten Na­tional Me­mo­rial will be a place for re­mem­brance and grat­i­tude ... al­low­ing Cana­di­ans to hon­our and re­spect our fallen in a man­ner never pre­vi­ously ex­pe­ri­enced or pos­si­bly even imag­ined.’

Sadly, that is prob­a­bly one of the truest state­ments sup­port­ers of the me­mo­rial have writ­ten. I could never have imag­ined that our fallen sol­diers would be hon­oured and re­spected in such a man­ner. It’s more like dis­hon­oured and dis­re­spected.

As for the honorary pa­trons who sup­port this pro­ject, don’t they re­al­ize that by their sup­port they are also putting their stamp of ap­proval on all of those crass trade­marked ‘Mother Canada’ items?

Peo­ple like lo­cal MP Mark Eyk­ing and NDP vet­er­ans af­fairs critic Peter Stof­fer surely can­not con­tinue to be­lieve that the NFNM has only the best in- ter­ests of vet­er­ans and fallen sol­diers at heart when they will be us­ing their legacy to make money with such crass mer­chan­dise.

But that is not the only way the NFNM Foun­da­tion is us­ing the mem­ory of fallen sol­diers. Ac­cord­ing to the NFNM web page, visi­tors to the web­site can ‘adopt a mem­ber of Our Fallen. Once one of Our He­roes is se- lected, the donor can ar­range to have a com­mem­o­ra­tive up­right marker placed ...’

Donors are by def­i­ni­tion peo­ple who give so one can as­sume that this is yet another way that the NFNM will make money on the backs of our fallen sol­diers. How much hon­our and re­spect is there in that?

The NFNM pro­posed lo­ca­tion at Green Cove is not only an in­sult to all Cana­di­ans who value our na­tional parks. Their plans to raise money us­ing the legacy of our vet­er­ans and fallen sol­diers with the “adopt” a fallen hero pro­ject and crass ‘sou­venirs’ are an in­sult to ev­ery soldier and vet­eran that the me­mo­rial is sup­posed to be hon­our­ing. Rose Courage Syd­ney

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