Sunday, April 23, 2006

It's the LEAST We Can Do

"These men were working to bring security, democracy, self-sufficiency and prosperity to the Afghan people and to protect Canadians' national and collective security. We will not forget their selfless contribution to Canada."
- Prime Minister Stephen Harper

But he won't lower the flag on the Peace Tower for them.

Obviously this angers me.

The excuse is that Paul Martin’s Liberals "broke with tradition" and decided to lower the flags on Parliament Hill when our soldiers died during the course of duty. Our Prime Minister now feels it is better NOT to lower the flag on the Peace Tower.

Argue it how you will, but it’s not a "return to a tradition". The decision to fly our flag at half mast is governed only by the Flag Etiquette directives from Canadian Heritage, where it stipulates:

"The flag on the Peace Tower of the Parliament Building at Ottawa is flown at half-mast: on the death of a Lieutenant Governor; on the death of a Canadian Privy Councillor, a Senator, or a Member of the House of Commons; on the death of a person whom it is desired to honour.

On the death of a person whom it is desired to honour.

The flags at the Department of National Defence and other Federal Buildings will fly at half mast.

Why does our Prime Minister not desire to honour them?


Dr. Calberta said...

This is indeed a sickening revelation. Harper's visits to troops in Afghanistan and attendance at a memorial service for one of the fallen (as he did recently) were obviously staged events designed to show he "cares" about the troops. When it really counts, he shows his immaturity in leadership by choosing not to honour the fallen soldiers.

I have lost all respect for him now.

On a side note, isn't it interesting that during U.S. presidential campaigns, candidates for the top job are heavily criticized for NOT having served in the military. I wonder where our country would be if our leaders had actually served to protect OUR freedoms and traditions, rather than drone on about them behind some office in a safe office somewhere. No wonder Canada is seen as a joke on the international stage - all talk, no action.

Anonymous said...

I was under the impression that we honour our dead during Rememberance day.

This flag at half mast is not traditionally done during wars where casualties can become large.

It starts to take meaning away from the rememberances when they are lowering the flag every day. Like so many other things it then becomes meaningless when it happens all the time.

You can argue that this is not yet too often but if we respect our soldiers and sailors and airmen and women then lets make Rememberance day a real rememberance of their sacrifice. Not just another day off.

Allie said...

So what if the flag is lowered alot?

Anonymous said...

It seems the PMO would like to hide the fact that canadians are dying ???

WillBlog said...

It was lowered inconsistently under Liberal leadership - and things like tradition ARE important to members of the Armed Forces. Remembrance Day is the day on which the sacrifices of our heroes should be remembered - we are at war, and during times of war, our flags should fly high.

Those who would say this is reflection of the Prime Minister's support (or lack of) for our troops are way out of line.

Allie said...

I don't think it's out of line to be upset about this, William.

It is my PM's decision not to lower the flag on the hill, no one elses. He can decide, as per the guidelines, "whom it is desired for him to honour." And so he has decided not to do this and it upsets me for many reasons. I think thats more than valid, and certainly is not out of line.

The Department of National Defense buildings lowered their flags. I imagine they will continue to do so - unless it becomes a banned activity.

And, we are not at war (At war with whom?). According to the DND website "Canada is making important diplomatic, defence and development contributions to the stabilization and reconstruction of Afghanistan." I am getting a little tired of people saying "we are at war" like they know what that means.

I for one, having proudly worn my flag on a uniform for years, and having friends and acquaintences on active duty, do not need to be told how people of the armed forces feel or if my opinions are valid. Disagree with me if you will, but it doesn't make me wrong.

I need to SEE my Prime Minister support our troops - Seeing is believing - and I don't want to start regretting my federal party membership or my vote.