11.03.2010 09:32 AM

Sad

For a Legion to reward such idiocy – and at around the time of year when the whole country is paying a lot more attention to vets – is just shameful.

An apology was owed, and an apology was given.  But it’s still pretty sad, particularly as this blunder comes from the people who – because of their experience, and because of what they fought for – should know better.

17 Comments

  1. Namesake says:

    I’m guessing — and maybe the parent organization should put this out there, if it’s true — that this is attributable to the fact that few if any actual vets were at said event;

    as I understand it, the membership of Legions has fallen off so much that they’ve greatly reduced their eligibility criteria (to like, _anyone_ in your extended family _ever_ been in the military in any capacity, going back as many generations as you like), such that it’s basically just a — and often, the only — social club with cheap beer & a pool table in small towns like this.

    • The Other Jim says:

      This can’t be stressed enough. Even in a mid-sized city like Barrie, the Legion Hall itself is far more of a cheap place for people of a certain age and social demographic to drink. The number of vets around the bar is usually pretty low in my experience.

  2. nic coivert says:

    Bigots feel empowered, this is how fascism rises. A dark age is upon us. Scary stuff.

    • The Other Jim says:

      Hmmm, let’s see, a couple of stupid rednecks do something offensive, but not violent or *necessarily* with malice. When brought to the attention of the local Legion folks, it is immediately commended, and then receives NATIONAL media coverage. People get rightfully outraged in response. The yokels involved will most likely be identified and suffer public humiliation for their gross idiocy and bigotry.

      How on Earth does this represent a Dark Age or the rise of fascism? The immediate and profound reaction suggests that collectively we view such behaviour as beyond the pale. A few absolutists will talk about “free speech” and fewer still will accuse of “us” of not having a sense of humour but, by and large, people will properly condemn this for the ignorant nonsense that it is. That, to me, suggests anything but a Dark Age.

      More to the point, do you really think that these things didn’t happen 5, 10, 15, or 20 years ago?

      • nic coivert says:

        True, such tendencies are always there, but context is everything. The political correctness of the last twenty years has hidden a lot, and now the paint is beginning to peel. Don’t fear though, liberalism isn’t wholly dead.

        Also, it was more than a couple of yahoos, they were rewarded for their behaviour by others at a public event. That would be where the empowerment comes in.

  3. Jay says:

    The Legion is nothing more than a watering hole. I have only ever seen drunkards at them. Makes me wonder why we are even giving them that HST break on the poppies. Where exactly does that money go after the poppies are sold? Saturday night door prizes? It’s nothing more than a night club these days. And a trashy one at that.

    • Namesake says:

      Careful… I don’t know the details, but there’s a big diff. b/w what they spend that money on, & what goes on in / the function of the actual Halls, which they try to run on a break-even basis.

      At bottom, they’re a service club — like the Shriner’s, Lions, Kinsmen, Kiwanis, Knights of Columbus, Rotary…

      http://www.charityvillage.com/cv/nonpr/nonpr29.html

      …and they spend their funds on programs on their areas of interest: in this case, mostly to support vets in seniors’ homes, I think.

      • Dave says:

        Our local legion provides generous scholarships for graduating high school students.

        They are also big supporters of local cadet squadrons (as are most other legions across the province)

      • Paul R Martin says:

        I have to agree with Namesake for a change. The Legion does some good work. By the way, my dad never joined even though he was in the Air Force for 25 years; however, several relatives have been or still are members. I hear positive things about the Stoney Creek Legion.

    • The Other Jim says:

      Way offside, Jay.

      Here is a note from the poppy chairperson a couple of years ago answering your question:

      http://www.thesudburystar.com/ArticleDisplay.aspx?archive=true&e=1269004

      “The Royal Canadian Legion has strict guidelines as to how money collected may be spent. There is an audit each year to ensure the funds are used for their intended use, which is primarily for assistance to our veterans and the education of our children. As our veterans grow older they become more dependent on medical aids such as wheelchairs, wheelchair ramps, etc. and often cannot afford to buy these items. When the local Legion branch is aware of their plight, the Poppy Fund is used to help the Veteran acquire the much needed devices. The money is also used in teaching our children about Remembrance Day and why it is important and why we have the freedom we enjoy.”

  4. The Legion should be offended at a guy wearing a KKK costume. The guy was wearing headgear in the Legion.

  5. Michael S says:

    Rubbs Barbeque Bistro sounds much more like my kind of place.

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