Author Topic: Wearing an Ancestor's Medals Mega-thread  (Read 251697 times)

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Offline Scott

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Re: Wearing an Ancestor's Medals Mega-thread
« Reply #25 on: January 19, 2005, 17:48:30 »
Good on you, Inch! I am in the process of doing something similar for my Dad.

Be nice for no reason.

Offline cheeky_monkey

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Re: Wearing an Ancestor's Medals Mega-thread
« Reply #26 on: January 19, 2005, 17:54:08 »
This is a very interesting topic and I've heard it debated many times.   My understanding is that it is illegal in Canada to wear someone else's war medals even if it's your Dad, Grandfather etc.   However, the president of the local Airborne Asso ,a very good friend of mine, reads the same thing and interperts it that it is legal if you wear them on the opposite side.

 Will Byrd, who wrote the WW I classic, "Ghosts Have Warm Hands" said in his book that it is your duty to wear them (on the opposite side) on Nov 11 ONLY.

 I wore my Dad's on my RCL Blazer after my Dad passed away on the next Nov 11.   I discontinued it after as to not cause any controversy.   One of my grandsons ( age 5) wore his great'grandfather's on last Nov 11.

 Evidently it is legal in Australia and very much encouraged.   I had some friends over here from Aus and they were 'shocked' that Canadians didn't follow that as well and they blamed it some outdated rule forced on us by the POMIES!   Their rationale was, " what better way to commemorate what your ancestors did for their country".   

 I agree with the Australian viewpoint.   They are more nationalistic than we are, as a rule ,and more inclined to do their own thing! :salute:
I completely agree with this, including only wearing the medals on the 11th of November (with the miniturized set for cadets). IMO I find it disheartening that so many here do not like the idea.

I do not believe that cadets should be allowed to wear medals on their uniform. a proper display of pride at your relative(s)'s aveivments would be to display the medals, as has been mentioned before, hanging on a wall, or in a display, etc.
I don't completely agree with this because few, if any people would ever see they're acheivements.
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Re: Wearing an Ancestor's Medals Mega-thread
« Reply #27 on: January 19, 2005, 20:59:16 »
You did not earn them,therefore your not entitled to wear them.If you want to remember,have them remounted,matted on their regimental colors and maybe if you can find it,their original capbadge.Looks very smart and is a excellent way to preserve your families history.
"It is war that shapes peace,and armament that shapes war."-Thomas Fuller

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Offline cheeky_monkey

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Re: Wearing an Ancestor's Medals Mega-thread
« Reply #28 on: January 19, 2005, 21:07:54 »
You did not earn them,therefore your not entitled to wear them.If you want to remember,have them remounted,matted on their regimental colors and maybe if you can find it,their original capbadge.Looks very smart and is a excellent way to preserve your families history.

My problem with mounting them is the NO ONE(out side of the family) sees the medals. Having a family member killed while serving, then not remembering they're sacrifices, is the last thing they wanted. Then you might say "That is why we have Remembrance Day." Well in my opinion, wearing the medals of you Grand-father/father/uncle/great-uncle is the of the utmost respect for them, and they're sacrifice. When you wear they're medals you are essentially saying "I remember you, and to me you are the most important person not only on this day, but through out every year you have not been with us."
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Offline ToRN

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Re: Wearing an Ancestor's Medals Mega-thread
« Reply #29 on: January 19, 2005, 21:23:21 »
I could post the one that I have, (pretty basic)

but My digicam is an hour away at my sister's right now :-\

(Sorry for the bit of a change in topic)
Nic
Chimo

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Re: Wearing an Ancestor's Medals Mega-thread
« Reply #30 on: January 19, 2005, 21:30:05 »
I just want to know where to get my dad's WWII medals plated,and remounted.Not that I want to,or would wear them,I just want to frame them and put them on the wall next to his service photo(RCAF).
I just had a friends grandfathers redone as a Xmas present went to the civ Tailor on CFB Borden and she sent them to the girl who does them for base supply.but if you look at the top of the page there is an add for some one who does it. Iron horse Medals)
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Re: Wearing an Ancestor's Medals Mega-thread
« Reply #31 on: January 19, 2005, 23:39:33 »
I forgot to mention in my last post. On ANZAC Day I wear (with my Poly dress uniform) my two gongs, and the right, medals of my Great Uncle 267104 PTE RF Allen late 28th Bn - DOW at Passchendaele 07 Nov 1917), on the right.

Its common to see here (not only Aussies, but all former BCW soldiers and families), serving soldiers (from PTE to GEN) wearing their relative's medals on the right on ANZAC Day. Its as common is the ordinary bloke, woman or young child in ANZAC marches wearing them too.

Quite touching and shows a great deal of national pride and thanks for our freedom, and for our serving ADF members.

I really wish I could describe the feeling on ANZAC Day, and for those of you who have seen George Street Sydney on 25 Apr, I guess you'll understand. One of the most amazing things I saw was two kids, both about 5 or 6 yrs old. The boy in period WW1 Light Horse ANZAC dress, and the girl in period Aussie WW1 nursing dress, holding hands as they 'marched' in down George Street with their Vet grandparents and family.   I really wish I could explain it, but you have to live it I guess.

ANZAC Day 2004 saw over 25,000 soldiers, Vets and family members representing those who can't be there, or have since passed on, in the Sydney march. Some wearing medals on the left, some on the right, some on both, some not at all.

Crowds estimated at 500,000+ lined George Street, and the the Vets march by, flags wave, and there is a general applause from the crowds. Impressive to say the least. Association after Association, Regiment after Regiment, Band after Band.

The parade lasts from 0800 to after lunch and does not stop (even for the occasion Vet who has a heart attack - they just march around as he is worked on)!

The ANZAC spirit is alive and well in Australia, and will survive future generations, through active participation, and education, as 'what is ANZAC' is even taught in elementry schools.

Cheers,

Wes

Wow, power-edited for heaps of spelling errors
« Last Edit: January 20, 2005, 00:01:36 by Wesley H. Allen, CD »
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Re: Wearing an Ancestor's Medals Mega-thread
« Reply #32 on: January 20, 2005, 00:22:35 »
 "Quite touching and shows a great deal of national pride and thanks for our freedom."

It's great that this issue has been raised as it serves to illustrate very clearly the difference between an Australian and a Canadian!  As far as the so called CC is concerned, the local President of the Airborne Asso was assured by the RCMP that this is not an issue with them.  (Particuliarly since one of their Rtd NCO's wears his grandfather's (on his Red Serge) on Nov 11).

 I intend to wear my Dad's (pt Sgt. Inf WW II) again on Remembrance Day at some point when I feel the calling.  It's really only an issue between me and him.
"EVERY MAN THINKS MEANLY OF HIMSELF FOR NEVER HAVING BEEN A SOLDIER", Samuel Johnson

Offline Alex

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Re: Wearing an Ancestor's Medals Mega-thread
« Reply #33 on: January 20, 2005, 01:31:01 »
After reading this topic, I can see both sides of the debate. I can definitely see Wesley's point of view.  Displaying family members medals once a year is an excellent way to honour them, as well as let others view what they have done.

On the other hand, I don't think I could wear the medals of my grandfathers or great grandfathers, simply because I wouldn't feel comfortable wearing them without earning them, especially in the case of one of my great grandfathers who was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal at Passchendaele during the Great War.  What he did to earn that medal was so remarkable that I think I would feel more comfortable honouring him by donating it to a museum, if they wanted it, rather than wearing it (if i choose to join the military).

-Alex

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Re: Wearing an Ancestor's Medals Mega-thread
« Reply #34 on: January 20, 2005, 02:21:25 »
A few more words....

Its a personal decision for everyone to wear them or not. However we can leave it a personal thing. The message is clear. "I am wearing thse medals on this special day, on the RIGHT side of my chest to remember/honour my relative". No other purpose! The wearing them on the RH side signals this message.

However get caught wearing them on the left (say a 50+ yr old Aussie man wearing Viet Nam service medals) and not have earned them again is another story. Sadly there is posers here who do this on occasion. Call them fakers, posers or whatever. I call them pathetic.

Besides with the CC, criminal intent has too be proven, and I don't think anyone out ther would be found guilty, as there is no criminal intent of remembering a relative on a special day. I don't even think one would be charged, and if he was, they should go right to the media!

Get caught posing, thats another story. We all can agree to that. Impersonation is one thing, but honouring and remembering is another. Completely different like chalk and cheese.

I respect everone's opinion on this, again because its a personal thing. We each have rights, and can express them as required, but its when one's beliefs dictates things ( because they don't agree), and smothers my freedom, thats what begins to get under my skin.

Authorise the wear on teh right on 11 Nov, at the discretion of the family. If one does not want to wear them, thats fine.

Cold beers,

Wes
« Last Edit: January 20, 2005, 02:26:02 by Wesley H. Allen, CD »
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Re: Wearing an Ancestor's Medals Mega-thread
« Reply #35 on: January 22, 2005, 14:48:54 »
IMO, the only medals you should be wearing are your own. After my grandfather died, I was given his medals, his dog tags, his 436 Sqn crest and a photo of him just prior to shipping off to Burma. Here's what I did with it all, my mom cried when I showed her.

I had the photo restored, medals court mounted and cleaned, and everything framed as you see here.



Thats beautiful. I wish to do the same thing for my great grandfather's WWI medals. However i have run into a snag. The medals were destroyed in a house fire before i could get them. I know this is a long shot, but does anyone know the properchannels to go through to get replacements?All i have to go with is his rank, SN and unit . Any help would be appreciated
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Re: Wearing an Ancestor's Medals Mega-thread
« Reply #36 on: January 22, 2005, 15:04:42 »
The Directorate of History and Heritage (DHH) mentions the replacement of lost or stolen medals here:
http://www.forces.gc.ca/hr/dhh/engraph/faqs_e.asp?category=honawa&FaqID=19#answer
But it appears to only address replacements for living recipients (serving and retired)

This page from Veterans Affairs provides and information contact for First World War medals that may be worth trying:
http://www.vac-acc.gc.ca/clients/sub.cfm?source=collections/cmdp/medals/infomedals

Quote
Medals (WW1, WW2, Korea): Army, Navy, RCAF:

Veterans Affairs Canada
Honours & Awards Section
Room 1411, 66 Slater Street
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0P4
Telephone:
Local:995-5003
Toll Free:1-877-995-5003
Fax: 1-613-947-3421

One option you have is to investigate acquiring modern restrikes of his medals for framing purposes.
_____________________________________________________________

And, to follow-up the orginal thread, here is DHH's FAQ response:

http://www.forces.gc.ca/hr/dhh/engraph/faqs_e.asp?category=honawa&FaqID=25#answer

Quote
Question - May I wear a relative's medals?

Answer - Article 419 of the Criminal Code of Canada prohibits the wearing of orders, decorations and medals by anyone other than the individual who was awarded the honour.

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Re: Wearing an Ancestor's Medals Mega-thread
« Reply #37 on: January 22, 2005, 15:06:36 »
thanks i'll give it a shot
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Offline George Wallace

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Re: Wearing an Ancestor's Medals Mega-thread
« Reply #38 on: January 22, 2005, 15:14:56 »
Further on Replacement medals:  If you require the info on what medals he had (if you don't already know) you can go to the Public Archives of Canada with the information you have and request a list of medals awarded to him.  You may be able to replace them, at some expense, by visiting various Militaria Shows around the country or Coin and Medal Dealers (some are listed in the Yellow Pages).

One of the advertisers on this site is Clive Law of Service Publications and he hosts a Militaria Show twice a year in Ottawa.  There are also large shows in Toronto and other major metropolitan areas.

Gw
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Re: Wearing an Ancestor's Medals Mega-thread
« Reply #39 on: January 22, 2005, 15:21:44 »
Further on Replacement medals:   If you require the info on what medals he had (if you don't already know) you can go to the Public Archives of Canada with the information you have and request a list of medals awarded to him.   You may be able to replace them, at some expense, by visiting various Militaria Shows around the country or Coin and Medal Dealers (some are listed in the Yellow Pages).

One of the advertisers on this site is Clive Law of Service Publications and he hosts a Militaria Show twice a year in Ottawa.   There are also large shows in Toronto and other major metropolitan areas.

Gw
Cool i'll keep that in mind
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Re: Wearing an Ancestor's Medals Mega-thread
« Reply #40 on: January 22, 2005, 15:23:53 »
If you have no success with our trustworthy government, find out exactly what ones he had, and if you go to collectors shows and antique shows etc, or certain coin shops etc, you can sometimes find original medals which are unnamed, or really good quality reproduction ones too (suitable for framing).

Cheers,

Wes
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Re: Wearing an Ancestor's Medals Mega-thread
« Reply #41 on: January 22, 2005, 16:08:38 »
If you have no success with our trustworthy government, find out exactly what ones he had, and if you go to collectors shows and antique shows etc, or certain coin shops etc, you can sometimes find original medals which are unnamed, or really good quality reproduction ones too (suitable for framing).

Cheers,

Wes


i know they are out there but it is almost impossible to find ww1 medals unnamed. and if you do find them they will cost a fourtune

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Re: Wearing an Ancestor's Medals Mega-thread
« Reply #42 on: January 22, 2005, 18:00:21 »
Actually unnamed medals are worth less than named ones.

Cheers,

Wes
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Offline Miss C

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Re: Wearing an Ancestor's Medals Mega-thread
« Reply #43 on: January 25, 2005, 17:48:53 »
No, I dont think that they Should be able to wear these medals because, you didnt earn those medals so you shouldnt have the pride of wearing them. Its like saying you had cancer just to get some sympathy.

Offline Frankex

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Re: Wearing an Ancestor's Medals Mega-thread
« Reply #44 on: January 25, 2005, 23:48:06 »
No, I don't think that they Should be able to wear these medals because, you didn't earn those medals so you shouldn't have the pride of wearing them. Its like saying you had cancer just to get some sympathy.

first of all you should be able to wear them on November 11. and you should always be proud of your families  medals and proud to wear them on remembrance day.

secondly it is nothing like saying you have cancer to get sympathy because i don't think that someone will think that a 45 year old man wearing the medals of his father or grandfather will think they were his. it is impossible for them to be his because they are most likely from the 2 world wars. so the only way it could be the same as claiming to have cancer to get sympathy would be a 82 year old wearing a bunch of medals that never were awarded to him.

Offline redleafjumper

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Re: Wearing an Ancestor's Medals Mega-thread
« Reply #45 on: January 28, 2005, 19:00:49 »
Remembrance Day or not, no one should be wearing medals or decorations that they have not earned.  The proper place for such items is  in a display that shows proper respect for the person that earned the awards.  I recognize that the intent of what many have stated, Wes among others, is to show respect for the fallen veteran and maintain that connection, however it is a thin line from that sort of wearing to putting them up when they have not been awarded to you.  I have personally encountered both circumstances and I always advise people of the Canadian Criminal Code in that area (see below).  The Legion has debated this issue at the convention and in my experience it usually comes down to "Who am I to wear my grandfather's medals?"  (Insert appropriate relative).  This law is not new in Canada, as I understand it it dates from the Great War and was put there at the request of the veterans as there were some who sought to receive the recognition that the veterans deserved.  My grandfather's old general service pin from WW1 says on the reverse: "Penalty for misuse $500 dollar fine or six months imprisonment."  Even today there are some who wear medals that they have not been awarded to imply that they have, I caught one violator myself on a Remembrance Day three years ago.  If you want to show your connection with your related veteran, then display their medals in a frame with a picture and other mementos as others have done. 

Wear a poppy, not their medals. 

The criminal code states:

419.  Unlawful use of military uniforms or certificates - Every one who without lawful authority, the proof of which lies on him,
         
         (a) wears a uniform of the Canadian Forces or any other naval, army or air force or a uniform that is so similiar to the uniform of any of those forces that it is likely to be mistaken therefor,

         (b)  wears a distinctive mark relating to wounds received or service performed in war, or a military medal, ribbon, badge, chevron, or any decoration or order that is awarded for war services, or any imitation thereof, or any mark or device or thing that is likely to be mistaken for any such mark, medal, ribbon, badge, chevron, decoration or order,

         (c) has in his possession a certificate of discharge, certificate of release, statement of service or identity card from the Canadian Forces or any other naval, army or air force that has not been issued and does not belong to him, or

         (d) has in his possession a commission or warrant or a certificate of discharge, certificate of release, statement of service or identity card issued to an officer or a person in or who has been in the Canadian Forces or any other naval, army or air force, that contains any alteration that is not verified by the initials of the officer who issued it, or by the initials of an officer thereto lawfully authorized,

is guilty of an offence punishable on summary conviction.


Lest we forget.

<Edited to remove the ellipsis on the Criminal Code sections and include full wording to avoid confusion.>
Redleafjumper
« Last Edit: January 29, 2005, 00:49:29 by redleafjumper »
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Re: Wearing an Ancestor's Medals Mega-thread
« Reply #46 on: January 28, 2005, 19:51:53 »
Rant on:

IGNORANCE (like the cancer sympathy quote - thats way way out of line) and LACK of EDUCATION seems to be a big problem with this topic. Wearing medals on the LEFT or RIGHT is TWO different issues and has TWO entirely different definitions. Remember that. Thats TWO different issues RIGHT and LEFT. Right for wearing in remberance of a family member, and left for being awarded to you, no one else, but you!

Those who wear them on the LEFT have truly earned them, and anyone wearing such on the left when not awarded them is a fake wannabee poser and should be ashamed of themselves, and if caught wearing them, they should be charged accordingly.

Too bad the 'nosayers' for not only cadets and family members of those who have since passed on, can't see things outside the square.

Its lawful to wear them here on the RIGHT one day a year here (of a relative only). Those who don't want to don't have to ( and I respect this too), but those who wish to HONOUR and REMEMBER the plight of the relatives this way (we are all different and remember in our own private ways, and this should be respected), good on them for doing so.

These people should not be condemmed for doing so either. If anyone came up to me and shat on me for wearing my Great Uncle's WW1 medals on the right, along my my EARNED ones on the left, they'd get a dressing down they would remember til the day they died. However thats unlikely to happen here, as the Australian culture is a 180 degree difference from Canada in this fashion.

We are extremely proud of our ANZAC heritage (not that Canadians are not - I reckon we express it differently) and our Military Forces in general. The population supports the wearing on the right overwhelmingly, where as the Canadians see things a little different I guess. even school children are educated about ANZAC and its humble beginnings on the craggy cliffs of Gallipoli 90 years ago this coming 25 April.

Just because of you personally think its wrong does not mean thats right. If you have an opinion not to wear them, good, but don't go passing on your morals and self imposed judgement onto others who think different.

So, to those who wish to keep their families memories alive wear them with PRIDE on the RIGHT side.

For the misinformed, prejudged narrow minded ignorant and uneducated with this topic out there I suggest before shooting off at the hip over the issue, have a deep think about the entire isssue before you go passing judgement. Like I said, if you don't wanna come to the party with medals on the RIGHT, don't.

HONOURING and IMPERSONATION are two different things. I hope one day after I am long gone one of my relatives will wear my medals (on the right) on ANZAC Day and march in my Corps Association to remember me, and my generation of Sons and Grandsons of ANZAC who have indeed served their country proud.

As for the Criminal Code of Canada, there must be criminal intent, and if the medals are worn on the right, and the circumstances behind it, it would be a cold day in hell if anyone was charged.

If thats the case I guess every person who even wears any surplus kit of any kind of CF issue stuff is gulity. Not likely to happen, but if someone is dressed up, and impersonated a CF member, thats an other story isn't it. Charge the *******! Throw the book at him. The same goes with poserS with medals, wound stripes, fake CF certificates and the like.

Hey Redleaf, was the bloke you 'caught' wearing them on the left? If he was he is a fraud and is a disgrace, and good on ya for having a go at him. I would have too. but if he was wearing thim on the right as a token of remberance, and you had a go at him for that, well quite frankly maybe its you who should be ashamed of yourself irregardless of the criminal code and all that other red tap crap.

Rant off:

EDITED for clarification ;)

Regards,

Wes
« Last Edit: January 28, 2005, 23:50:20 by Wesley H. Allen, CD »
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Re: Wearing an Ancestor's Medals Mega-thread
« Reply #47 on: January 28, 2005, 21:14:56 »
Wesley mate,

Australia has got it bang on!!

As for the other comments, I will only draw from one ( not centering out anyone in particular);

Quote
No, I don't think that they Should be able to wear these medals because, you didn't earn those medals so you shouldn't have the pride of wearing them. Its like saying you had cancer just to get some sympathy.

And we say that the civvies are ignorant.   I think this attitude fuels it.   Lets not be proud of our history, let's hide our medals (ours as in Canadians) and profess that as long as I remember is all that counts....then complain when a civvy has no clue about our history.

Would you think that by wearing them one day of the year, you can show your pride by telling someone a story about the person who earned them.   I think they would remember that over that fact that someone was only showing off or glorifying anything.

Geez, we Canadians just love to beat ourselves up, and then stand there with our transplanted stiff upper lips...


I know that I’m not perfect and that I don’t claim to be, so before you point your fingers make sure your hands are clean.

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Re: Wearing an Ancestor's Medals Mega-thread
« Reply #48 on: January 28, 2005, 22:07:42 »
Wes man. wow. i wish all Canadians thought the way you did. i completely agree with you.

i for one once in a while on remembrance day services by request of several people and my own will wear a Korean war Canadian uniform full with webbing gas mask small pack everything they are ww2 though. i also have some people that ONCE dressed in ww2 uniforms which my dad had collected. one of them had medals which i removed before any one wore the uniform. i did this so that younger and older people could see what the uniforms looked like. the one i wore was unissued and had no rank.

if people have a problem with that than i guess you have a serious problem with Re-enactors. it is pretty much the same thing. they go around showing uniforms of the past.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2005, 22:11:15 by -Hutch- »

Offline redleafjumper

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Re: Wearing an Ancestor's Medals Mega-thread
« Reply #49 on: January 29, 2005, 00:12:45 »
I believe all of us agree that there must be proper respect shown to those who have fallen.  As I see it, we disagree on how that respect is properly demonstrated.  I am not interested in a flame war with anyone over this issue when certainly we all have the intention to show respect how we believe it should be best demonstrated.  Fair enough?

In response to Wes's (and I did expect some aspects of his response) post, I have thought this through carefully.  I have been an active member of my Legion for 21 years and served twice as president.  Nuances of left and right are only of value to those who know the difference.  Wearing on the right is not sufficient to show that they are not your medals.  I well remember one woman pointing out someone wearing a WW2 and Korea set on the right side at a service in Vancouver, and saying to me, "That fellow certainly has a lot of medals for someone so young." 

It might be the norm down under, but it is not the way in Canada.  Incidentally, the person I caught was female and the medal worn was on the left side in form as if had been earned and clearly with that intent.  As I was familiar with the impostor and the medal, I called her on it at once.  She left the room like a bird with her tail feathers on fire, there was no doubt that she knew.  From time to time I have encountered persons who incorrectly wear their relatives medals.  One fellow carries them inside his coat.  When they are displayed on the jacket, I tactfully advise them of the law.  I agree that intent is a big part of this  issue and most of those few who do wear those medals do not intend to pretend that they earned them.   The problem I have, and it is likely less a problem in Australia, is that the perception can be that those medals were earned by the wearer.

By the way, the rest of those omitted criminal code sections on uniforms and the like very much revolve around pretending to be something that one is not.  They are not aimed at re-enactors, but rather at persons fraudulently wearing current issue uniforms.  I can post the rest of those sections if you like, but the use of the ellipsis " ... " indicates words omitted.  I omitted those words as they are not relevant to the topic at hand, that is wearing of medals.  I feel that it is helpful to post the section under discussion so that the reference is clear.

Redleafjumper

« Last Edit: January 29, 2005, 00:39:57 by redleafjumper »
Redleafjumper

"After all, courage of the lonely sort is surely the most glorious thing that we can hope to witness, and whether it is displayed upon our side or upon the other, one feels the better for having witnessed it."  Major H. Hesketh-Pritchard, DSO, MC in Sniping in France 1914-18, p. 113.