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Wearing an Ancestor's Medals Mega-thread

SeaKingTacco

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Recce guy,

So the middle-aged walt can't wear medals that aren't his, but the cute 10 year old can?  Are we deciding this base on:

The age of the wearer?
The "cuteness" of the wearer?
The arbitrary decision of any group of former CF members who happens to notice a non-veteran wearing medals?

As you have probably gathered, I fall into the camp that says the current law is fine.
 

the 48th regulator

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SeaKingTacco said:
Recce guy,

So the middle-aged walt can't wear medals that aren't his, but the cute 10 year old can?  Are we deciding this base on:

The age of the wearer?
The "cuteness" of the wearer?
The arbitrary decision of any group of former CF members who happens to notice a non-veteran wearing medals?

As you have probably gathered, I fall into the camp that says the current law is fine.


You are confusing the intent of both individuals.  The middle aged "Walt" in you example, is parading the medals as his own, and this is fraudulent.  Now, if the 10 year old girl walked into the local legion, orders a pint, and begins to tell war stories, then I would agree with you.

The intent of wearing medals, for the little girl, is to honour a loved one who earned them.  The Walt is in no way honouring anyone, but is committing fraud, claiming the medals as his own.

Stopping people from honouring those who served, to catch a few walts is akin to closing down banks completely, to stop bank robbers.

dileas

tess
 

SeaKingTacco

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But, in law, there would be no difference.

My question stands: who gets to divine the intent of the wearer?
 

the 48th regulator

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SeaKingTacco said:
But, in law, there would be no difference.

My question stands: who gets to divine the intent of the wearer?

The same way as you would to identify which person is withdrawing money from his account through  the bank teller, and which one was handing a note telling the teller that he has a gun and wants her money.

Situations dictate.  And if you are so inclined, ask the supposed walt, whether he is middle aged or she is a cute 10 year old about the medals they are wearing.  We don't have to always go to extremes to calm our fears of evil Walt Hordes, and call in the local constabulary.

dileas

tess


 

cupper

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A deaf, dumb and blind man can divine the intent of the wear simply by asking the question, "Why are you wearing those medals?"

Clearly the 10 year old is going to say something to the effect of "To honour my Grandfather".

The Walt is going to start spouting some line of BS, if he even tries to come up with an answer.
 

Journeyman

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cupper said:
Clearly the 10 year old is going to say something to the effect of "To honour my Grandfather".
With the next question being, "and do you know what 'honouring' even means, or is this something your mommy thought would be cool, so that you both could garner attention within this current 'support the troops' moment?"


That's rhetorical, by the way, it being obvious that the key posters here have their minds made up, and no points will convince otherwise.


 
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jollyjacktar

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SeaKingTacco said:
But, in law, there would be no difference.

My question stands: who gets to divine the intent of the wearer?

Two things.  The law is a wise man's guide and a fools bible.  And, as Dickens wrote, "The law is an Ass".
 

the 48th regulator

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Journeyman said:
With the next question being, "and do you know what 'honouring' even means, or is this something your mommy thought would be cool, so that you both could garner attention within this current 'support the troops' moment?"


That's rhetorical, by the way, it being obvious that the key posters here have their minds made up, and no points will convince otherwise.


And with that post, I will borrow from Dickens and say that I shall retire to Bedlham....

dileas

tess


 

Michael OLeary

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the 48th regulator said:
The same way as you would to identify which person is withdrawing money from his account through  the bank teller, and which one was handing a note telling the teller that he has a gun and wants her money.

Unless he is unable to speak due to a medical problem or injury, in which case you only see a man with a note standing silently for the teller to action it.  Unless his actions are clear indications of wrongdoing, it's only a guess either way.

I think the main point here is that it's an emotional and very complex matter. With the current law we expect that everyone with medals, on either side of their chest, is wearing only their own and we think we can then identify Walts by those who fail to match our image of who should be wearing what. That being the case, it is still very possible to create embarrassing situations for all involved by falsely calling someone out that you think is wearing inappropriate medals. Or for a Walt to escape detection by behaving as might be expected for such a medal recipient.

Alternatively, if the law were to be changed, some might imagine the situation to become even more complex. But does it really? Is anyone here ready to claim that some 10-year-old girl, or 40-year-old man, wearing a pair or trio of First World War medals, or a group of Second World War medals, on their right breast is falsely claiming to be a soldier of the CEF or CASF, respectively? That certainly should not be the first impression, if they are worn in accordance with potential memorial guidelines for wear that are distinctive AND the observer knows what the medals are to begin with. Guidelines for wear COULD require that they be mounted, for example, with a one centimeter black ribbon across the ribbons of the group, to denote they are being worn solely as a commemorative grouping.

Neither approach lessens the possibility that some will wear medals for the purpose of deceiving others.

No matter what we see in the future, I advocate primarily for more education into what medals might be seen on Remembrance day (regardless of who is wearing them according to the regulations of the day). With better education, we might also see reporters spending less time talking to RCL leadership with racks of Legion bling on the right, while completely missing that "old guy" in the crowd with a well-worn rack with a Military Medal on one end. (An unfortunate situation I once observed, in my opinion the first guy should have been falling over himself to make sure the reporter was talking to the second guy, whether or not he was a Legion member.)
 

Pusser

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What I find interesting in all of this is why is it only medals that people want to wear in order to honour their ancestors?  My father was a distinguished academic with many more letters after his name than I will likely ever have.  Frankly, his achievements involved a lot more effort than I've ever put into getting any of my gongs.  Yet, I have never had the urge to honour him by wearing his academic robes (backwards? inside out?) at some event.  The same goes for his mortar board (tassle on the other side?).  Nor have I ever heard of anyone else wanting to honour a distinguished ancestor in this way.  So why, I ask again, do so many folks want to do this with medals?

Unfortunately, my gut feel is that they want to attract attention to themselves:  "I'm related to a veteran, so part of his achievements rub off on me?"  I see this is much akin to me telling folks that I played high school football with five guys who ended up in the CFL.  It's true and the implication is that if things had gone slightly differently, then I could have been a pro football player as well, which is probably not so true.

Society puts limits on decorum all the time.  This is why we are generally expected to wear clothes in our day to day activities, despite the fact that we generally don't throw folks in jail for not doing so.  I don't see the medal issue as any different.  I simply don't feel it's appropriate to wear medals you haven't earned.  The general public doesn't know enough about which medals are which and how they're supposed to be worn (left breast, right breast, forehead, etc) to be able to distinguish what's what.
 
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jollyjacktar

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So tell me Pusser.  Do you own any clothing that has any sort of markings on them?  A favorite sports team perhaps?  Or anything else that you have not personally participated in, been to or own?  If so, by your logic why the hell would you wear anything other than a plain shirt or sheet for that matter?  Surely you aren't craving attention or wanting your clothes to scream "look at me, look at me"?.  Other than your obviously Pusser uniform, life rather plain if you stick to your principals of no supporting anything.  Perhaps if we had a Remembrance Day for professors and academia you might feel moved to bring your Father's mortar to the ceremony if he had passed on and you were close to him.
 

Edward Campbell

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I wanted to stay out of this, beyond my 2008 comment, but I now want to associate myself with Pusser's comment.

Yes, jollyjacktar I do have some golf shirts with my former Regiment's crest embroidered on them and I wear them with pride. While I might fall into the category of those who may have some reason to wear a parent's decorations and medals I have never felt an urge to do so.

As I said about three years ago, I, too, am happy with the rules as they are, but if enough people want to change them I can live with that, too; but until they are changed I see no need to make exceptions. Do I care if a seven year old boy or ten year old girl wears grandpa's medals? No. Do I approve? No. As Pusser said, we have rules, we have standards, we should obey them until, over time, they change.


 
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jollyjacktar

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ER, we all have opinions on things.  That's what make us individuals.  I am of the camp that as long as you are not trying to be a Walt but are wishing to commemorate a loved one who has passed there is no harm done.  I have my own medals and wear them when required/desired.  I am sure that my Sons don't give a damn about them and would not wish to wear them if I pass along.  But that's them.  They are in your and Pusser's camp and it's their right.  I am not a hockey fan, would not wear a Montreal jersey (or any other team) if you paid me.  But I can understand why someone would want to, and it does not get under my skin that they do.  I suppose it's a good thing that being a sports fan is not illegal.  It just a shame that it is illegal for Widows and Children/Grandchildren of departed Veterans  to wear their pride for what it is in this country.  Unlike places like the UK.
 

cupper

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jollyjacktar said:
I ... would not wear a Montreal jersey ... if you paid me.

:goodpost:  ;D

Seriously though, I don't see the comparison. In the case of sports jerseys, the teams / leagues are actually encouraging fans to purchase and wear them as a show of support for the team (or generate revenues depending on how much of a cynical outlook you have).
 

cupper

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cupper said:
Seriously though, I don't see the comparison. In the case of sports jerseys, the teams / leagues are actually encouraging fans to purchase and wear them as a show of support for the team (or generate revenues depending on how much of a cynical outlook you have).

:nevermind: I was going somewhere with that, by my train of thought got derailed. If I get it back, I'll update. :sorry:
 

Pusser

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jollyjacktar said:
So tell me Pusser.  Do you own any clothing that has any sort of markings on them?  A favorite sports team perhaps?  Or anything else that you have not personally participated in, been to or own?  If so, by your logic why the hell would you wear anything other than a plain shirt or sheet for that matter?  Surely you aren't craving attention or wanting your clothes to scream "look at me, look at me"?.  Other than your obviously Pusser uniform, life rather plain if you stick to your principals of no supporting anything.  Perhaps if we had a Remembrance Day for professors and academia you might feel moved to bring your Father's mortar to the ceremony if he had passed on and you were close to him.

Actually, I have many golf shirts, jackets, sweatshirts, T-shirts etc, that have logos or crests on them.  However, all the sports ones are for teams that I have either played for or coached.  The military ones are for units with which I have served or worked.  In fact, my wife says I have too many and I need to get rid of some.  ;D  The only ones with which I do not have a strong connection belong to my collection of Cows (TM) T-shirts.  My only association with whimsical cows is that I like their ice cream.

There is no need to get pi$$y about this.  All I'm saying is that I don't understand why people want to wear their ancestors medals, but don't seem to want to honour their ancestors for other things in a similar manner.  It's interesting to note that this is a relatively new phenomenon.  Let's not forget that veterans and serving military personnel were ignored and even scorned in this country for many years.  Where were the descendants wanting to wear their ancestors' medals then?  Did they not honour them before?  Now that it's cool to be military, I can't help but think that some folks are trying to live vicariously through their ancestors. I'm not about to go around crushing the spirit of ten year old girls or interrogating anyone with suspicious racks, but that doesn't mean I have to approve of the practice either (and frankly, I think the Brits and the Aussies have it wrong on this issue).  I'm happy with the way things are, although I think making it a criminal offence is a bit much. 

 

Journeyman

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Pusser said:
Yet, I have never had the urge to honour him by wearing his academic robes
It's surely one of the signs of the impending apocalypse that I agree with Pusser.  :-[

jollyjacktar said:
Do you own any clothing that has any sort of markings on them?  A favorite sports team perhaps?
If you'd wished to make a logical connection, rather than reductio ad absurdum, your analogy would have him wearing a Stanley Cup ring rather than simply a hockey team's t-shirt.

Michael O'Leary said:
.... very complex matter.
Only if one insists on making it one, otherwise it reduces to "if you didn't earn it, you don't wear it"; hardly complex in my mind.



However, please continue...

                :argument:
 

Pusser

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Journeyman said:
It's surely one of the signs of the impending apocalypse that I agree with Pusser.  :-[

Now now.  No need for a sad smiley(?).  Both greater and lesser men than you have been known to agree with me.  ;D
 
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