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Wearing an Ancestor's Medals Mega-thread

1feral1

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Servicepub said:
I'm coming to this thread late and have not ploughed through all ten pages of commentary

Well, maybe you should then, that way you can gather some info to ponder rather than demonstrate your narrowmindedness.

People here and elsewhere DO NOT wear unearned medals, that is still a crime here, as earned medals are worn on the left. People know here when worn on the right, its the sign of rememberance. Its not about posing or showing off, or who cas pi$$ the furthest.

If I was you, I would TRY to see things outside the circle, and not let your opinion fog a workable idea of what is nothing but a true act of respect for our Veterans from all conflicts.

OWDU

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Danjanou

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Michael O'Leary said:
It's not like anyone has suggested that wearing all of your ancestor's medals would be compulsory if such a change was instituted.

And look like this
n840030313_3915389_5552.jpg


Recceguy been to my Branch have you? 8)
 

1feral1

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Danjanou said:
And look like this
n840030313_3915389_5552.jpg

Judging by the crest on his blazer, and his beret colour, those worn on the left are his 'as earned/awarded', on the left perhaps his father and grandfather or father-inlaw, as there is 4 sets. I don't have issues with this, but personally I would chose one relative and perhaps the following year, another.

EDIT: With Mick's good detective work WRT the commemortives, this guy is the exception to the rule, and may in fact be over the top. I did spot some genuine medals in there. Standing amoung Paras and RMs, one would think he is genuine, but you never know. Truly there is plenty of freaks to go around.

Here in Australia, seeing the SASR Assocation march on 25 Apr, these SASR blazers and tan berets are a common sight, along with service medals worn on both sides by some. 

Cheers,

Wes
 

Michael OLeary

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And it looks like more than a few added commemoratives.

Citadel Awards • The General Service Cross (GSC)
http://www.tasmedals.com.au/citadel_awards/10482.html

MSM AWARDS
The home of the Commemorative medal
http://honours.homestead.com/comindex.html


The possible actions of individual idiots should not be enough to deter the rational debate of the value of the act of remembrance which wearing an ancestor's medals would invoke.

 

Danjanou

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I thought you'd catch that Michael. I'd also hazard that the beret and balzer crest are  as "authentic" as his paypal bling all three generations of it.

My point in posting this BTW, was that no matter how well intentioned this proposal is, count some idiot screwing it up for everyone.
 

Michael OLeary

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All the more reason for any initiative which raises public awareness of medals and what they represent.
 

Servicepub

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Overwatch Downunder said:
Well, maybe you should then, that way you can gather some info to ponder rather than demonstrate your narrowmindedness.

People here and elsewhere DO NOT wear unearned medals, that is still a crime here, as earned medals are worn on the left. People know here when worn on the right, its the sign of rememberance. Its not about posing or showing off, or who cas pi$$ the furthest.

If I was you, I would TRY to see things outside the circle, and not let your opinion fog a workable idea of what is nothing but a true act of respect for our Veterans from all conflicts.

OWDU

Iraq Vet
Ah yes, now I remember why I don't come here too often. Because I disagree with your point of view I am narrowminded. Your reply also implies that I accused those who hold a different point of view than mine as "... posing or showing off, or who cas pi$$ the furthest."
I have thought outside the circle, as can be seen by my suggestion of a shadow box but, again, as I am not in step with your preference then my mind is "fogged". Yeah, right!

 

1feral1

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Well SP, it works here and other Commonwealth countries throughout the free world, and it works well. Don't forget Mrs Wood wore her Son's Canadian service medals (remember - she lost 5 in WW1) on the RIGHT, and in front of the King, back in 1936 at the unvailing of the Canadian Vimy Memorial. If it was accepted then, thats 73 yrs ago, why not now? You can read more about it here (if you want) http://www.hellfire-corner.demon.co.uk/ceris.htm

Your own words say your jumping into this topic without wanting to fully inform yourself, I did not say that.

Like I said, wearing of medals on the LEFT by posers etc is a crime, and there is even an Australian web site to track this and dob in posers, etc - See the link at the bottom of the page.

So, whatever floats your boat SP, but should Canada adopt a similar way of rememberance, you can still have your shadow box. I am confident when the time is right, this will happen.

No need to get angry and accuse me of that bit about the 'pi$$ing the furthest' assumption, my point was that here we wear medals on the RIGHT as a sign of rememberance, honour and respect, as the pic of the young girl demonstrates on the front page of a Sydney newspaper.

Your quote "Ah yes, now I remember why I don't come here too often." Great attitude to express on here, but if you think we are a bunch of wankers or AH's, feel free not to come back, but I will say I find your comment rather rude, sorry, but I do.

So, pull your head in, and most importantly, do have a good pleasant evening.

OWDU

EDITed for clarity and spelling

DOUBLE EDIT: You might want to examine this website on posers and revealing them http://www.anzmi.net/info.html

 

Fishbone Jones

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You can both 'pull your heads in' and quit acting like a couple of schoolgirls.

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Hardrations

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This is a really good conversation going on here. So I'll throw my 2 cents in. My wife who is a Mennonite born in the Ukraine had an Uncle killed while serving in the Wehrmacht of WW 2 and was awarded the Iron Cross 2nd Class. So now you say a ha a traitor to Russia. Well now lets understand prior to the Russians going into WW 2 both his parents were taken off to the Gulags, they were considered Germans by the communist govt. of the day. So what does he owe in loyalty to the Russian Govt. He and many lads of his age joined the German Army voluntarily so as to hopefully free his parents. And remember the German Govt also considered them German (as it still does). A few years back my grandsons class was tasked to write an article on how past wars in Canada affected their families. On my suggestion he wrote on his Great Uncle who died fighting in the German Army. We had his uncles medal which my mother-in-law had kept, pictures of him as a young student and soldier ( the difference was notable). With my assistance he wrote his article, with the pictures and medal explaining why his uncle fought with the German army and told of how there was no known grave for him. Mind my wife and I have since had contact with the German Red Cross giving us information on him up to May 1944. His teacher was most impressed with this effort to show why and how a young man would do something like this on the opposing forces. We have to remember that aside from politics there was other reasons for some to enlist. His cousin who last saw him in Feb 44 told me that he was very disappointed in the war and what he had seen and experienced on the part of the Nazi's. I think it showed in the picture of him as a soldier.
 

Tharris

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Possible legal issues etc aside, I suppose it's simply a matter for that individual to decide.  From these posts alone it's clear that the issue can be tricky but not irreconcilable.  Personally I would think someone bearing a be-Swastika'd medal at a ceremony would not be be advisable, but if this their form of commemoration (not necessarily supporting the ideology and so forth) then I have a degree of empathy for that position.  Remembrance can be a tricky thing sometimes...

That was my two cents which is literally worth that much,

Regards,

T.
 

1feral1

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If anyone is from Winnipeg and are over 40, they might remember this....

On a 11 Nov cold morning a German WWII Vet, now living in Canada went to the Cenotaph in the 'Peg wearing his original field cap.

Our Vets were there in strength, and overwhelmingly protested loudly at just his presence on this hallowed ground surrounding the cenotaph.

The uproar this caused got what I believe national attention, as the Leader Post, Regina's paper picked it up with pictures.

All about c.1980 or so.

Even after 36 yrs, the scab on the wounds of war were not fully healed over.

So, does this ring a bell with any of us old/bold and crusties?

You know, I am a packrat of sorts, and I will still have that clipping somewhere around in a safe place.

Regards,

OWDU
 

mariomike

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Overwatch Downunder said:
On a 11 Nov cold morning a German WWII Vet, now living in Canada went to the Cenotaph in the 'Peg wearing his original field cap.
Our Vets were there in strength, and overwhelmingly protested loudly at just his presence on this hallowed ground surrounding the cenotaph.
Regards,
OWDU

Schools of thought...
Manfred von Richthofen received full military honours from the Allies in 1918. That's a high profile example. But, even a prosaic Lancaster crew - ND994 - shot down behind German lines in July 1944 had a small delegation of German Luftwaffe officers from St Dizier attend the funeral. Along with a Forces Francaises de l'Interieur FFI honour guard!
I don't speak for Allied World War veterans, but it wouldn't bother me personally to see German veterans at our Centaph at Old City Hall, or the Airmen's Memorial on University Ave.
I should like to add that there is always a marchpast of veterans and emergency services in Toronto. I don't think German veterans will ever be invited to participate in that. I was referring to the people observing from the sidewalk. There's always people there from various ( I assume Allied? ) countries wearing medals.

 

TimBit

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mariomike said:
Schools of thought...
Manfred von Richthofen received full military honours from the Allies in 1918. That's a high profile example. But, even a prosaic Lancaster crew - ND994 - shot down behind German lines in July 1944 had a small delegation of German Luftwaffe officers from St Dizier attend the funeral. Along with a Forces Francaises de l'Interieur FFI honour guard!
I don't speak for Allied World War veterans, but it wouldn't bother me personally to see German veterans at our Centaph at Old City Hall, or the Airmen's Memorial on University Ave.

It just seems to me that they were upholding their duty, just like canadians were at the time. Different times different foes. I can understand personal feelings of antipathy from veterans back then, but to me Rememberance Day is a day about all those who served and fell in the line of duty, especially when you think that service was mandatory both over there and over here after conscription came into force.
 

mariomike

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TimBit said:
It just seems to me that they were upholding their duty, just like canadians were at the time.

Canadians were liberators.
 

Michael OLeary

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Since we're arguing isolated and largely, in this day, hypothetical, cases, what about an ex-German soldier who later served in the Canadian Army?  What if he had official permission to wear his German medals?  Would you deny an 80+ year old man the opportunity to remember the fallen soldiers he served with?
 

mariomike

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Michael O'Leary said:
Since we're arguing isolated and largely, in this day, hypothetical, cases, what about an ex-German soldier who later served in the Canadian Army?  What if he had official permission to wear his German medals?  Would you deny an 80+ year old man the opportunity to remember the fallen soldiers he served with?

There's all sorts of people wearing all sorts of medals in the crowd. You don't need permission.
The marchpast is different. That would be up to the mayor. He's paid to handle the political "hot potato's". If permitted, I am sure it would be a first.
I worked with war vets - younger than I am now - from both sides. Some ( Canadian and British ) wore their ribbons on the job every day. The vets didn't always get along. Some angry silences.
( I had to run "potato" throgh spell check. Remember Dan Quayle?! )
 

Fishbone Jones

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Michael O'Leary said:
Since we're arguing isolated and largely, in this day, hypothetical, cases, what about an ex-German soldier who later served in the Canadian Army?  What if he had official permission to wear his German medals?  Would you deny an 80+ year old man the opportunity to remember the fallen soldiers he served with?

Had just that case in the early 70's. One of the MCpls in the RCD had served in the German Merchant Navy during WWll. Although I only saw him wear his German decorations once. And that was just to spin our ex Brit SSM into the ground. Both are gone now.
 

geo

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mariomike said:
Canadians were liberators.

Not always...

If you talk to the people of Dresden or Hamburg, they don't really see us that way.

If you talk to the people of Hiroshimo or Nagasaki, they don't really see the Americans as liberators.
 

OpieRWestmrR

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Legal requirements aside, for me it comes down to why the individual is wearing the decorations. A relative symbolically remembering a loved one on a national day of remembrance would be tolerable, in most cases.
Actual veterans expressing unit or service pride I am ambivalent about. Depends whether they do it in the spirit of shared experience, I guess. In their shoes I would tread damned carefully and be grateful my former enemies were such magnanimous people.
If a person's motive for wearing ancestors' decorations smelled of politics or self-interest - to push a fascist revisionist agenda or indulge a crass national equipment fetish, for instance - well...
 
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