Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Flags and coffins

It started with the cease and desist on half-masting the flag in the government buildings, now we're not allowed to see coffins. Is Harper getting defence advice from Donald Rumsfield and the gang? It all doesn't bode well. When I first heard about not putting the flags at half mast, I was concerned. I figured it meant that the higher ups in the military knew the awful truth, that there would be a lot more deaths in Afghanistan and that if we lowered the flag every time it happened, the flag would be at half-mast a lot. Then I heard that it was against protocol to put the flags at half-mast and had only been a recent development. Even last year, when a soldier died in a noncombat related incident, they didn't lower the flag. Well, I disagree with that. Every single time a Candian soldier dies in the line of duty, be it from "friendly fire" or a land mine or suicide bomber or a tank rollover or anything else, those flags should be lowered. If the government can send them off to war, they can bloody well lower their flags when those people give the ultimate sacrifice for us.

As for the coffins, I am torn about that (I am a Gemini so being torn is part of my nature). On the one hand, I think it is a very Bush-like thing to do so automatically I don't like it. On the other hand, I know the families may want privacy and they should not have to decide, as was suggested by one family member of a soldier, whether or not cameras should be permitted in the awful homecoming of their loved ones. I think we should be able to see the coffins, see their entry into the country but the families should be off limits. I don't need live footage of a tear stained face to know they are sad. I know that already so just keep the footage off of them. If we don't record it, people will forget and that is not right. We should remember, we should be vigilant.


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