07 July 2006
OTTAWA – The three young men photographed on Canada Day urinating on the National War Memorial in Ottawa have come forward and have been positively identified by the Ottawa City Police. The matter will now be handled by the Crown Prosecutor as to what charges may be laid. This is the democratic system for which Canadians have fought and died. The right to “due process under the law” cannot be denied.
“Two of the three men identified are under the age of 18 and cannot be identified. The elder of the three is not from the Ottawa region. One of the young offenders, through the police and The Royal Canadian Legion, has tendered a very contrite apology to Canada’s veterans and its citizens. The Legion has also been led to understand that an apology to Canada’s veterans has been tendered through the police by the second young man. They have both volunteered, of their own free will, to do voluntary service with a veteran’s organization to try and make amends for their actions.
The Royal Canadian Legion, having considered all the factors involved, is willing to accept the apology made to it and trusts that Canada’s veterans and citizens will respond in the same manner. It is felt that while this act of desecrating the National War Memorial was inexcusable, it emphasizes the lack of education in this country about the role of veterans in shaping the development of Canada as a nation. The monuments and cenotaphs in our communities are sacred memorials raised in honour of their ultimate sacrifice on our behalf.
The Royal Canadian Legion firmly believes in the rule of law and places its trust in the hands of the authorities to do the right thing in this matter. It also firmly believes a military guard should be at the National War Memorial, especially during the peak periods of 1 May to 30 November. The guard(s) would not only help to prevent any form of desecration to the monument by their presence but could also explain the significance of the monument and The tomb of the Unknown Soldier to those who need to know.
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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