The powerpoint show really does illustrate the differences between our countries. Even the US of A does it better and with more support. Here, what some presenter wore on prime time TV, or who won what pathetic reality show is of more interest.
I'm not sure if it is apathy or ignorance that is partially to blame, although the major portion of contempt should be reserved for a government and strident sub-strata of society that holds the armed forces in their own contempt, mostly through very ill informed and extreme left-wing propoganda.
Those pictures were taken a few months ago. However, every single fallen that is returned has the same journey and each one has the same crowds no matter what the weather/season is.
Some would argue that it's the Diana Syndrome or they are grief ghouls but living in Trenton and being very much part of this community, it's not that at all. It started because our Government tried to sneak the fallen back in out of the sight of the public and media. Military personnel, the vets that live here, the civvies said "no, our fallen deserve better than that." So started the salute from every bridge from Trenton to Toronto all 50 of them - bridges that is.
There is no wailing, or grandstanding or public condemnation of the mission. It is a quiet salute with maybe a murmur of "God Bless", or a shakey salute by an old man who remembers a different war and a flutter and wave of a flag. Whatever it is, whatever you may wish to call it, it is powerful.
The photo essay that I have, has many more pictures and if anyone would like to see them, just PM me I'll send it on to you.
Jesus, that's got my allergies going again, must get some more piriton. I cant remember the last time I saw a fireman or policeman pay anything but lipservice to any of the fallen. Useless chav mongs in this country cant even find the meaning of patriotism in the dictionary, never mind the real meaning of respect.
A couple of points-
We don't "do" public displays of grief very well here-remember the Diana aftermath? There are low key tributes where appropriate-I know the RBL standards turn out as corteges leave Brize and Lynham.
There is massive support at every military funeral (or there is at the ones I have seen press coverage of). Sure it is a great thing the Canadian public are doing, that is their way. I don't think ours is all that bad, just different.
Final comment-Is this the same "Sun" that delights in sticking the boot into the boys when one of them gets into trouble?
Edited to add-the twit above who describes civvies as "fkin tossers" or whatever needs to get a life-most are not, most are pretty decent and appreciate what we are and what we do.
I would like to agree with you devexwarrior, but being on the receiving end of notification party during the Falklands, I found the way the public did in fact behave much differently than they do today with respect to the mourning of our fallen. I don't recall the mourn in private was the flavour du jour but rather it was very much a public event. My husband and those that fell with him had no less than 4 memorial services plus the private family ones and I do recall being trotted out for public display by the MoD on a number of occasions, Freedom of City parades, Church parades, benefit concerts, and dedication services to name a few. That never struck me as reserved but more of tasteful yet, very trying on the familes. But Quiet? Hell no.
I witnessed a nation mourn her dead and rise up to help those that were injured and left behind. There was no question of whether it was a British thing to do, it was simply the right thing to do. Many of us have forgotten how to do the right thing.
I think, what we see now is a fear that if we, and I mean both the Brits and Canucks, will appear politically incorrect, and insensitive to those who are not of a opinion that fallen souls of war and unrest need to be remembered. We give way to what we know is right and respectful to the popular culture of don't give a damn. We are so used to in the last decade of being told what is correct behaviour that we have forgotten how to behave at all.
Our own fears disable us in being able to hold our heads up and disagree with the landslide of feel good messages we are told is the only way to think/behave.
Over here, it only took a few people to object to the perceived status quo of what was acceptable for our fallen. Those who objected said, "not good enough for them to be snuck in the backdoor". It only took a few people that said, "you know, we really do need to support our troops, let's hold a rally for them" before those rallies are all across the country.
If you really want to be reminded of how unquiet a Brit can be on the subject of their troops, go look up pictures from the return of the Canberra and the Task Force and tell me, the flag waving and bands playing is simply not British.
The Canadians do seem to have really rallied behind their troops. If anyone is over there in the near future have a look how many cars have yellow ribbon magnets or window stickers, they also have a "red friday" campaign in which everyone is invited to wear red on fridays to show their support for the guys. It is noticeable in every day life over there, you hear about it on the radio, see it daily on the tv.
By contrast, for the most part the only people you see wearing help for heroes wrist bands in the UK, displaying stickers in their cars are servicemen and their families.
In Canada, despite the ultra politically correct tendencies of the last couple of decades they have managed to get the public to realise that supporting the troops has absolutely nothing to do with supporting the political cause.
My nephew is Wiltshire police and every courtege out of Lyneham is escorted with full honour. They even argue over who has the honour of doing the job. Wooten Basset one of the villages they pass through has its villagers and the RBL out every time when they are aware of a cortege passing through. Roads are blocked and the passage is very dignified. No its not like the Canadians but please its also not forgotten and ignored.
Its also a case of knowing when such things are happening. Me and mine would be most anxious to pay our respects to returning servicemen, alive or dead, if we knew that they were in the area where we live.
Also I do agree that there are different 'styles' of behaviour on each side of the Atlantic; both equally valid but quite different. My feeling is that the British are uncomfortable with outward displays of emotion; maybe something to do with living on a crowded island. Still doesn't mean that no-one cares; I think that's just the Sun. Strange really considering the hysteria it encourages in other areas.
I have been unfortunate enough to have attended a friends funeral last year, in Brum. There was a very large turnout. Admittedly there was no banner waving but there lots of people paying there respects to someone who fell fighting for his country.
As others have said these things don't go unrecognised just un reported, because, some one dying for their country isn't cool anymore and doesn't sell papers.
I was in Ontario 2 summers ago and every ramp ceromony was televised on all channels (it seemed) and the country seemed to stop completely. Made me feel quite proud, whilst visiting my great Uncle in Belle View Veterans Hospital in Montreal showed how much they continue thatcare including grave plots and headstones for veterans and wives!
Sadly I was proud to see tha last red green show whilst I was there!
Media access to repatriation ceremonies are left up to the families. The government had tried to dictate what would happen by banning media from the apron and a number of the families said no...we want the media there, while others have asked to be left alone. Media obliges with the family requests.
Now, some here would suggest that the government's ploy to ban all media from the repatriations and they ensuing stink the media caused over it, was enough to secure ongoing coverage because they had harped on about freedom of the press etc etc... and now have to cover them to save face. If that was the case, it was a brilliant marketing of the war to the Canadian people. (I'm a little too jaded to believe that the government was that smart but rather it was a fluke.) Whatever it was, and is, that makes them cover the repatriations, it's not about selling papers.
Timings for all repatriations can be found on the newsroom section of the CF/DND web site. Perhaps the MoD could do the same if asked?
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe the Gov Gen (Our C-in-C) has attended every repatriation as well. Again, it's either a brilliant marketing ploy or a fluke but her addresses and statements of condolences invite the Canadian public to mourn along with her and those families of the fallen. And.. we do. The Province didn't even put up a fight to rename part of the highway, political and public will was there.
The same goes for our returning troops, our CDS has insisted that every single CF aircraft that is carrying returning troops be met in the air by a fighter escort and brought home. (It really does get the eyes going to see these aircraft approaching knowing that they have very special cargo onboard.)
I was driving home from work last week traveling east out of Toronto when I noticed the bridges packed with EMS. I and many other cars pulled over to the shoulder and waited for the procession to pass by. Brought a tear to my eye.
in Ottawa, all the Police cruisers, Ambulances and Fire dept vehicles have the support our troops ribbons on them. The chief of Police was on TV telling how important it is to support the troops. It brings a tear to the eye, knowing that common decency and doing the right thing is still important. The majority of the Ottawa Police Service wear a yellow support our troops ribbon(issued)on their body armour
Veterans here in Canada are truly looked at with respect., in fact during my sons history lessons last year, his class dug a 40ft WW1 trench and spent the night in it. The veterens from the Legion came and spoke at length with the kids about their experiences, followed by a visit to the Canadian war museum in Ottawa.
Alot of the support you see comes from normal everyday people and is not in anyway politically motivated. Seeing the Canadians show their respect along the 401 highway bridges is really moving. In fact the highway from the 401 to Ottawa is called the veterans highway. Thats as well as the 401 being re named the highway of heroes.
I have never understood why the national support I witnessd when the task force returned from the South Atlantic simply seems to have dissapeared.
Could not part of the reason us Brits don't do public ceremonies is due to the media?
I say this because most of the time a British serviceman is killed whilst serving the press go way over the top when reporting it, and thus alot of people might feel embarressed to show greif publically for fear of being accused of jumping on the bandwagon.
This might sound harsh but if a soldier from a small close knit community was killed I really don't think having a front page article (and several pages inside) in a major national newspaper is going to do anything to help this community mourn its lost privatly. Having strangers who know of these people crying what could be described as crocodile tears will do nothing but enrage them thus giving them the last situation to deal with they want at such a sad and sombre time.
Grief is the most personal emotion one can feel and as such it should remain personal not public.
Bojangles/Busta: Do either of you recall when his blondness wanted all the support ribbons taken off the service vehicles in TO? Do you recall how he was flooded with threats to boycott the city if he did. And when other cities tried, the politicians had to take a big step backward to get their feet out of their mouths?
Good on you Canucks, in GB a lot of people do respect are forces, however the decline in dicipline, and common decency means we like Rome before us have decayed. Our society is rife with lazy idle good for nothings who receive large benefit payments, and do not work. Immigration of such huge proportions also means we have people here who have no sense of British Values, what is a dead serviceman to an African, or Asian absolutly nothing. Are best people are leaving to Countries such as Canada, Australia, and NZ. Where I lived the Union flag was burnt in Glodich on a weekly basis, dont know if it still is I left the Area, and we have Muslim clerics who hate everything we stand for, allowed to preach hate. But there are still true born Patriots who feel every bit as strongly, as you do. The task force sailing and returning springs to mind. I have my sticker in the car supporting the troops, but I wouldn't park in an Asian area.