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Friday, June 30, 2006

Newfoundland's role at Beaumont Hamel to be Swept from History

I often hear comments from other parts of the Country to the effect that Newfoundlanders and Labradoreans are nothing but a bunch of complainers and whiners. The opinion seems to be that we will never be happy with the great job Canada has done in supporting us and providing us with handouts.. A bunch of malcontents is what we are called for our rumblings of separation and unfair treatment. What these people fail to realize is that many Newfoundlanders and Labradoreans are unhappy with this Dominion for many reasons and the least of those are financial ones.

An example of this reality is the situation playing itself out in France as I write this very commentary. On Saturday July 1, remembrance ceremonies will be held to commemorate the battle of Beaumont Hamel, the fierce WWI battle which saw many Newfoundlanders give up their lives for King and Country. The thing of it is that the men from Newfoundland and Labrador who died in that battle were fighting for the Country of Newfoundland, not for Canada. During WWI confederation with Canada was still decades away.

During the ceremony this week the anthems of Canada, France and Newfoundland (The Ode to Newfoundland) will be played. As is the custom during such events the men and women of the armed forces will stand and salute during those anthems. The exception is that the Canadian forces has informed the men and women of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment, the very regiment who’s early members fought in that great battle, that they will be expected to salute the French and Canadian anthems but they will not be permitted to salute the Ode to Newfoundland.

Why in God’s name not? Apparently it is felt by Canadian military leaders that only the anthems of the nations involved should be saluted. I guess someone forgot to mention to this brain trust that hundreds of men from the Country of Newfoundland died during WWI and the military men and women from this Province should be given the opportunity to express their pride and remembrance for their ancestors.

These are the sorts of things that upset people from the Province beyond anything financial regardless of what others may think and they are the sorts of acts that people in other parts of Canada never see or hear about.

Lieutenant Governor Ed Roberts is attending the ceremony at Beaumont Hamel as an honorary member of the forces. He has said that while he would like to salute the Ode to Newfoundland, he must respect the uniform he is wearing and follow the rules laid out for him by the Canadian military. I disagree completely. As the Queens representative to the Province he has a bigger obligation to the people of Newfoundland and Labrador and he should take that obligation seriously.

My suggestion is that the Lieutenant Governor should disregard the orders given to him and salute for everything he is worth. As a temporary and honorary member of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment what can the military do about it. If he feels so strongly about his anthem, as he should, but doesn’t want to disrespect the Canadian Forces, he could opt to appear at the ceremony without the uniform. This would free him up to do as he pleases.

Through seeing a man of Ed Roberts stature take this stand, it might even convince some members of the regular forces to follow his lead. Even if it doesn’t, at least it would send a strong message to Ottawa and his actions would help return at least one small part of the dignity that is being stolen from us all by this action.

It’s a sad day when a country fights and gives up the lives of its men on the battle field of a foreign land only to be told on the 90th anniversary of one of those battles that the descendants of those men will not be permitted to salute the anthem they fought and died for. Thank-you once again Canada for your understanding.

15 comments:

no longer proud said...

This is the first I've heard of this, and I have to say it's bloody outrageous! Not being able to salute during the Ode while honoring the men who fought and died for NL pre-confederation??? Who the hell thought this would be appropriate???

And more importantly, where the hell is Rick Hillier in all of this??? I guess he's just another traitor like several others in our history if he remains silent on the issue. Ed Roberts can also be classed as a traitor for agreeing to go along with such an idiotic and disrespectful 'request'. He ought to met with a crowd of protestors upon his return demanding his resignation. Bloody bastard! I hate this cuntry (intentional misspelling) more with each passing day...

Is there any way to confirm if the larger provincial media outlets like NTV and VOCM are aware of this story, Patriot? This is something NL'ians definitely need to be made aware of.

BNB said...

This is a distinctively N&L issue that has little to do with our present relationship with Canada. I applaud Ed Roberts for making the stand. I understand there is a little confusion about military protocol, and what is kosher in military circles. I hope the LG does salute.

The other side of this is the federation's blatant disregard for our reason to take pause on July 1. I understand that this is the 90th Anniversary of Beaumont Hamel and the first real recognition of it by Ottawa on July 1 is promised for tomorrow morning at 8:50 on capital hill.

I hope it gets the media it deserves. The Canada Day events can fall quiet for just a moment in the morning and let all of the nation remember The Royal Newfoundland Regiment.

Patriot said...

I can confirm that VOCM is aware and has reported it. Beyond that I don't know.

info@atlanticaparty.ca said...

The Atlantica Party.
Representing the region of Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador.
Leading The Movement For Real Reform.

Electoral Reform
Political Reform
Regional Reform

To learn more
You can visit us at www.atlanticaparty.ca

You can email us at info@atlanticaparty.ca

Thank you.
The Atlantica Party Executive.

no longer proud said...

info@atlanticaparty.ca: I just browsed your website... I think your hearts are in the right place, but Ottawa has always, and will continue, to fight Atlantic 'reform' at every step. A loud and strong message of 'we don't need you' needs to be sent to the feds. And since words without action are generally meaningless, separation is our only real option.

NL-ExPatriate said...

Actually NLP I think we could send a louder message if we organized a

Don't Vote
For Change

Federally

Than we ever could by going the separation route. All we need to do is get the voting numbers down to 30% or so and Canada will have to pay attention because it will no longer be a democracy if noone votes in federal elections.

Since the vote right now is only around 60% we wouldn't need to go far to reach our goal.

Voting for federal representatives is useless because we only hae a 2% say in the affairs of the country anyway. Unfortunately our own affairs are controlled either in part or wholely by the federallies.
100% fishery
50% offshore oil IE Fallow Field legislation
100% Mining and the environment Duck pond
100% Non-Renewables because of the clawing back of Non-Renewable revenues through equalization.

If you read the Royal commission on Newfoundland/Labradors place in Canada
I think you will find that this route is our best option toward achieving real change in Canada.
http://www.exec.gov.nl.ca/royalcomm/

Or if you want to use an analogy read Tommy Douglas's Mouse land.
http://www.saskndp.com/history/mouseland.html

We need to get to the root of the problem and IMHO that is the Democratic Deficit.
The Provinces have no equality with Ontario/Canada.
HOC 308 seats Ontario has 106, Quebec has 75 NL has 7 and dwindling all of the time from 286 previously and expected to become even further relevant in the near future.

Triple E Senate Equal Elected and effective not unlike the American system.
Supreme court that has a guaranteed 3 judges from Quebec, 3 From Ontario out of a total of 9.
I say appoint one judge to the Supreme court of Canada from each Supreme court of each province or territory. To represent all of the provinces morals and ethics nopt Just Ontario, and Quebec's.
Judges must be bilingual to appease Quebec and french speaking Canadians interests. Isn't our school system supposed to be a bilingual one anyway?

If Ontario's Judges feel left out they can move to the lesser populations to have a better opportunity for a seat not unlike what our people have to do if we want a federal job what with Ottawa having 32% of federal positions and probalbly more like 50% if the entire province of Ontario is included. That and the proximity requirements implemented to protect the existing buracrats childrens chances of getting federal jobs. Borden, Trenton, Petawawa.

no longer proud said...

I hear what you're saying, but personally, I'd rather leave. Even we did bring about any sort of change within confederation, it would only be a matter of time before NL'ians once again grew complacent, and Ottawa went back to its old tricks and started milking us again.

Let's ditch the bastards once and for all so we can finally stand on our own.

Anonymous said...

The Ode is not a national anthem. It's not an insult......it just isn't an anthem.

Everything is an outrage to you people and you read insult into everything.
Relax a bit.

no longer proud said...

The Ode was our national anthem during WWI and the men honoured today fought for NL and the British Empire, NOT for Canuckistan. If they only knew the fate that befell NL after WWII, they'd turn in their graves.

FortMacBoom said...

tis a sad day indeed...for both NL and Canada.No doubt this was the right wing Reformers from the now canadian govt. who insisted on this.They have a hatred for Newfoundland that is just shy of racist,and definately biggoted,as can be witnessed throughout Alberta.Newfoundlanders are scum in the eyes of these knuckle dragging freaks.Trust me...I see it all the time here..its disgusting, and makes me feel ashamed to be a canadian.Gen. Hillier should have stood up for NL in this,but I guess the big payola to the Armed forces recently was enough to buy his silence.A$$hole!
Well, its time to fight back.Its time for canada to get informed - not Reformed.Toss these bastages out at the first opportunity I say.This is total disrespect for All Newfoundlanders everywhere.

Patriot said...

From the Clarenville Packet newspaper:

"Despite an impassioned and bold public plea from Lieut. Gov. Ed Roberts, members of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment were not given permission to salute the Ode to Newfoundland and Labrador — the provincial anthem — during Saturday’s historic ceremony at Beaumont Hamel..."

no longer proud said...

From the same article printed in The Grand Falls-Windsor Advertiser:

"As for a request to salute the Ode on Sarturday, the top-ranking soldier in Atlantic Canada, Brigadier-General Richard Parsons, said the regiment "does not have the legal right" to salute anything other than a national anthem while on parade in a foreign country. "It's not appropriate that the regiment salute the Ode," he said."


Well Mr. Parsons... I don't care what your rank/position in the Canuckistan military might be, but on behalf those men who died for NL (and those us that still respect them), I have to say F*CK YOU!!!

NL-ExPatriate said...

I only have one thing to say about this post.

History is written by the victors.

NL-ExPatriate said...

Does the Quebec Van Doos 22 salute their anthem?

I can't remember, mind block it was all in french LOL.

MrChills said...

I just got back this morning from a two week vacation in Britain and read several different newspapers around July 1st (one was the Sun and another a local paper to Liverpool) and both had pretty large ads in the paper thanking the people of Newfoundland & Labrador for their bravery during the Battle of Somme. It was very heart warming to read this, but also made me bitter that Britain shows more respect for the history of the Royal Newfoundland Regiment than Canada ever has or will.