Monday, November 9, 2009

Poppies Continued

The wearing of poppies by Canadians has become so de rigeur that this weekend's paper had a picture of the leader of the Bloc Quebecois, Gilles Duceppe, wearing one.  This is striking as there were riots in Quebec during the World War I over conscription, which led to a very different kind of personnel policy for Quebec in World War II.  Yes, indeed, Quebecers did lose their lives in those wars and the on-going campaign in Afghanistan, but the BQ is a separatist party seeking independence for Quebec, and the casualties are suffered by the CANADIAN Forces.  When the 22nd (Van Doos) regiment from Quebec first went to Afghanistan, there was some discussion about whether Quebec should have a say in this by the less well-informed.  I was tempted to remind folks that these soldiers joined the CANADIAN Forces, not the Quebec Forces. 

I guess I have been here too long.  I have the same kind of reaction when anyone talks about the Confederate Army in proud terms.  I see the South in the US Civil War as, well, traitors, deserving very little in the way of praise, and the symbols about them to be offensive. 

I guess I should just see the BQ poppy-wearers as being good human beings, who remember those who have lost lives in past wars.  But I think I am too cynical.

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