Display honours locally

The Canadian War Museum in Ottawa should not be the sole resting place for Canadian Victoria Cross winners and awards

The Canadian War Museum in Ottawa should not be the sole resting place for Canadian Victoria Cross winners and awards.

Lt. Col. John MacGregor, VC, DSM, MC and bar to his MC, won while he was a Captain in the First World War should be kept on permanent display in the libraries of Kelowna, Penticton, Osoyoos, Oliver, Summerland and Vernon. Why, one might ask?

The decision is easy to make when we look at the big picture. The 2nd Canadian Mountain Rifles was the predecessor of the British Columbia Dragoons (BCD). The BCDs are an Okanagan Valley unit: One only has to listen to the large numbers of names of Penticton and South Okanagan men lost in both great wars at Remembrance Day services.

British Columbians won 20 per cent of Canada’s VCs. Manitobans also have their share of VC winners. Winnipeggers have a street named for three VC winners called Valor Road; born and raised on that particular street. A Winnipeg high school lost 50 of their graduates killed in action while flying for the RCAF Bomber Command. It would be interesting to know how many of those aircrew members won DFCs, DSOs and MCs. A bomber command RCAF airman won the VC; I am not sure which Canadian town he came from. CSM Osborne, a Manitoban, won the VC at Hong Kong. Smokey Smith, of Vancouver’s Seaforth Highlanders, won the VC in Italy.

The people of Ottawa apparently couldn’t care less about what goes on at the Canadian War Museum. A few years ago after the museum was renovated, the curator put a plaque on a wall with the depiction that “Canada’s RCAF Bomber Command aircrews were war criminals.” A retired army major was instrumental in having the plaque removed.

The defamation of the Canadian Forces wartime record by a civil servant, the war museum curator, happened while the Canadian Liberal Party was the government. Canadian veterans were enraged to see such levels of disrespect for our glorious dead killed in the two great wars and Korea.

I often wonder how our Afghan veterans and the more than 100 peace keepers lost on overseas UN missions will be remembered in a city, that except for one day a year does not care. The Trudeau Liberals were the party that unified and destroyed the Canadian Forces. PET was Canada’s most infamous draft dodger during the Second World War. With one stroke of the pen, Trudeau caused more harm to the Canadian Forces than did the enemy in the four wars of the 20th century. Only in Canada, eh?

John MacGregor’s VC, DSM, MC and bar to his MC should be kept in the Okanagan; they should not be returned to Ottawa. Most Ottawa folks today could care less about who John MacGregor was. The time has long passed when Okanagan school children learned about who he was and what he achieved.

Ernie Slump





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