“It is a first. I have never seen such a blatant defacement of our sacred symbol and believe that if other Canadians could see it, they’d be as outraged as I am,” says Bill Maxwell, who is secretary of the Legion’s Poppy and Remembrance Committee.
A young man lies in prison waiting a bail hearing for tagging the cenotaph. That the 21 year old full comprehended what he did or even had any true disrespectful intent to the memories of soldiers is probably not likely.
In 2016 it’s interesting how people’s perceptions can be so separate from reality. Hundreds of people are up in arms over the tagging that could easily be cleaned up, yet when the above statement from the Legion was quoted, it had nothing to do with the tagging, but an adult who used the image of the beloved poppy as a symbol to one of his online cohorts after they had been suspended from facebook while both were participating in a hate group.
If you truly respect what the poppy represents does it matter whether it is digital or an aging hunk of stone? In 2016 more people are liable to see a digital image than visit the cenotaph. And while the cenotaph can be cleaned, a digital image can be shared and spread by the World.
What makes this hypocrisy even worse is that when the former Liberal MPP Jim Brownell, honorary Lt. Colonel of the SD&G Highlanders was shown the text and image his quote was that he was not his brother’s keeper which is exactly what our armed forces are and why we so cherish the symbolism of the poppy and what it stands for as well as the monuments we erect across our country.
Here is his response after being showed the image and other evidence from the hate group that he himself also participated in using his profile picture of him in uniform.
I am not my brother’s keeper, but I can still be a friend with my brother, even if I do not believe in or agree with comments from my brother. The same goes for my friend. I don’t abandon family or friends, just because they write or say something I don’t agree with. So stay out of my life, and don’t try to make me feel guilty, because I DON’T FEEL GUILTY, IN ANY WAY!Jim
“I’m saddened to learn of this cowardly act of vandalism towards Cornwall’s cenotaph and all that it represents. It boggles my mind that an act of disrespect, like this, was made to a monument that should be regarded as sacred. When will they ever learn the meaning of respect and remembrance?” added former MPP and Honourary Lieutenant-Colonel of the Stormont, Dundas, and Glengarry Highlanders, Jim Brownell.