24 April 2006
OTTAWA –The Royal Canadian Legion acknowledges the decision by the Canadian government that the national flag on the Peace Tower and all other government buildings will not be lowered on the death of a Canadian Forces member.
The Legion has always supported the lowering of the national flag on the Peace Tower and government buildings to half-mast only on November 11, Remembrance Day. Its General By-Laws, however, do allow its branches to make their own decision on the lowering of the Canadian flag at their facilities on the death of a local military member.
The Legion regrets the recent selective policy of the federal government whereby the flag has been lowered to half-mast on the Peace Tower and federal buildings to mark the deaths of some military personnel but not for others.
The Legion considers the lowering of the flags on the Peace Tower and all government buildings, as practised intermittently since 2002 and up to the most recent statement by the government, to be discriminatory. It is the organization’s belief that if the flags on all government buildings, including the Peace Tower, are to be lowered to half-mast for one military person who has died on active duty then it must be done for all who have died on active duty.
Notwithstanding this strong belief, The Royal Canadian Legion was most saddened to learn of the deaths in Afghanistan of four more soldiers attributed to a bomb blast .
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the four young men killed in the line of duty in Afghanistan,” said Mary Ann Burdett, Dominion President of the Legion who was in Ottawa for meetings when the news was announced. “Their ultimate sacrifice, and that of those who have gone before, strengthens our will to continue in the perpetuation of Remembrance.”
As is the traditional practice on 11 November, Remembrance Day in Canada, the flag on the Peace tower will be lowered in memory of all those who have made the ultimate sacrifice by laying down their lives for this country while in the military and related services of the nation.
“We will remember them all for what they have done,” said Ms. Burdett. “They have all served with dignity and honour and this one day of national Remembrance is for the almost 117,000 who have made that sacrifice.”
For further information please contact Bruce Poulin at Dominion Command, The Royal Canadian Legion, at (613) 591-3335 ext. 241 or by cell at (613) 292-8760.
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