Wednesday, May 04, 2005
POLITICS AS USUAL: THE NEW WAR MUSEUM IS A NATIONAL DISGRACE
Do you think this image accurately reflects the storied, brave history of Canada's veterans?
The Board of the Museum of Civilization does.
This disgusting image--or a painted representation of it--greets visitors at the front door of Canada's supposed tribute to Canada's soldiers, doctors, nurses and military staff of WWI, II Korea and our peacekeeping missions abroad. This is the image students, tourists and other visitors will be assaulted with when they tour the museum.
THIS is what federal bureacrats feel is a "fitting tribute" to Canada's war dead and survivors of those conflicts.
And what is the official response from Ottawa?
"We shy away from heroism because that tends to be associated with glamorizing war."
That was the quote to the Ottawa Citizen from War Museum meathead Peter MacLeod (if you want to reach Peter to express your disgust, give him a shout at email@example.com). He apparently believes that we shouldn't be talking about the sacrifice, heroism and hardship our veterans--who are dwindling by the day.
Instead, Canadians should teach their children about how sick individuals like Cpt. Crackpot up there have put a black eye on Canada's efforts to keep countries from tearing each other apart.
And if you really want to get pissed off, Sun Columnist Peter Worthington illustrates how the heroes in this situation--our vets--have been completely shut out:
"Cliff Chadderton, Canada's most influential veteran, who has done more for vets than anyone and who not only founded War Amps but is chairman of the National Council of Veteran Associations, representing 51 veterans groups, is asking that money donated by people he persuaded to give, be returned to the donors because he feels the museum is sending the wrong message. A symbolic gesture of disapproval. He was "shocked" that the Somalia painting would be displayed to depict soldiers. He says any comment from him would be "unprintable."
Chadderton donated $10,000 to the war museum and worries he inadvertently misled others into contributing. He says veterans who served in war seem to have had little input in the museum."
Both my grandfathers were in WWII. On one of my grandfather's first missions his ENTIRE unit was wiped out--except him. The mental and emotional scars he was left with led to a life of alcoholism and a premature death.
He left his soul on that battlefield. Our generation has NO IDEA what sacrifice is. Kids need to learn that war is a horrible, horrible experience. In fact, I think every student should have to watch Saving Private Ryan in school. But war also can teach us about the human spirit--people who bear unspeakable hardship to sacrifice for their families and their country.
Canada has a proud military history. THAT'S what this museum should be about.
I was actually psyched to visit the new museum. While a great tribute to our vets, it was quite cramped and in need on an update. I drove by the site with a friend of mine and we were both excited about going in.
But I make this promise. I will NEVER set foot in that museum as long as that "painting" hangs in it.
I suggest each and every Canadian do the same.
Let's turn our back on this thumb in the eye to Canada's veterans.
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