State Funeral For Last Canuck WW I Veteran

Today, the Canadian Parliament has voted that when the last Canadian veteran of WW I passes away, he will be given a state funeral. More info on the proposal can be found at

I'm of two minds on this one.

One the one hand, I think that it is great that the people of Canada want to recognize the sacrifices made by our veterans from WW I. I believe it is an attempt by the nation to extend an honour to all veterans of that conflict and to perhaps mourn a generation lost.

However, on the other hand I see it as breaking with the tradition of treating all of the fallen equally. It becomes, and I realize it is unintentional, a morbid lottery of death. Whoever lives longest gets the fancy sendoff.

I am somewhat afraid that everyday folks might decide that since the last one has passed that the debt we owe our veterans of that era has been paid. Hence, no more need to bother with remembrance, forget about the history, just pack up the remnants and get on with things.

I don't begrudge any of our surviving WWI veterans whatever benefits the Canadian government deems fit to give them, including funeral benefits. And I certainly don't want to come across as hard-hearted regarding our veterans or their families. But I am thinking of all those other families that lost loved ones over the years that were WW I veterans as well as all those whose loved ones never returned from overseas. As well, I just get a bad feeling about the unintended effects such a "memorial" could have.

Have other countries done a state funeral for their last WW I veterans? If so, how did the public receive it? Am I completely out in left field? Let me know what you folks think, perhaps you can help me with a perspective on this I am missing. Cheers to all.
I think it should be up to the individual if they are prepared to accept this send off or a private funeral, if not then a memorial serivce to the fallen?

know whereof you speak, my friend.. it does smack of a Tontine Pact doesn't it?

Last man standing gets the Royal Sendoff..

Still.. We must do something to focus peoples' attention on the passing of a generation and to acknowledge the 600,000 plus Canucks who stepped up in time o' need, and a State Funeral focussed on a person representing an era is a better way than some pompous political hooplah dressed up as a ' memorial service' replete with blathering politicians each getting their say and the Padres relegated to an ' inclusive' prayer tacked on at the end just before they fade to the commercials.

Aussies had a State Sendoff for their last Gallipoli Vet..It was sombre and reflective and set the right tone for a remembrance event.. so much so that there is now talk extending the passing into some kind of annual reflection or ' beefing up' their Remembrance Day commemmorations.

think the same could happen here..

Interesting that it was Jack Layton of the so-far-left-we're-right party who put forth the motion to do this..he of the we-should-talk-to-the-Taliban-not-shoot-them party...

Only two vets will qualify for the 'honour' as the third has lived most of his postwar life in the US and feels he shouldn't/can't accept the ' privilege ' if he goes last. [ Fair call that man ]

still, with them all 105/106 it won't be long now.. I'm betting 2007 will be a sombre year in that respect.

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