There appears to be no further news since that noted here a week ago. The Canadian press however still seems to have completely missed the story over the past week.
But they didn't miss our Prime Minister's trip to Washington DC. Probably most newspaper, radio and TV stations in the country and most in the US brought forth a series of blow by blow activities over the several day trip ending a few days ago.
Yet when Bent from Halifax Nova Scotia, who became the youngest Lt. Colonel in the British Army lost his life in action, and later posthumously received his medals, no one in the Canadian press apparently deemed the potential sale of his precious keepsakes worthy of news coverage.
But first a comment on protocol when both faced the camera's on the White House lawn shortly after arrival in DC. The video clip I saw sent shivers up my spine, as I suspect it did to many with military backgrounds. While the Canadian National emblem was played PM Justin Trudeau did NOT salute. Nor did President Obama. When the American national emblem was played the president saluting but Trudeau did not, as shown above. At the same time hundreds of service men and women from both countries were at attention, and many saluting by Presenting Arms.
This seems to me to be an insult to both nations. I believe both leaders should have saluted during both performances.
At the right our PM has just approached the wreath he would be given to lay in honour of the Unknown Soldiers at their monument at Arlington. While others again were at Present Arms, rather than saluting, PM Trudeau crossed himself in asking God for a blessing. Why did he not salute the warriors laying at his feet?
Justin Trudeau has had no military training, like half our past PM's. With some irony the last PM with military training that included when to salute... and how when in civilian clothing, was another fellow by the name of Trudeau who saw 2 years service in Montreal as an officer cadet during WW11.
From here the official delegation traveled west a short distance to place similar honours at the Canadian Cross of Sacrifice.
The cross was the idea of Canadian Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King back in 1925. President Calvin Coolidge approved the idea and it was erected and unveiled on Armistice Day 1927.
On that day over 400 Canadian troops marched through the streets of Washington DC with their weapons, an event not happening since the War of 1812. President Coolidge himself inspected our troops that day at the White House.
The Canadian Cross of Sacrifice was presented from the people of Canada to the People of the US in honour of their soldiers who wore our uniforms and gave their lives during WW1. Many of these men and women joined Canadian units years before the US entered the war.
Trudeau's visit to the Cross was not the first for a Cdn diplomat. While not PM at the Time, WLM King visited the Arlington Tomb for the Unknown Soldier and, or, the Canadian Cross of Sacrifice. The Canadian Mister to the US followed suite in 1933, as did PM Laurent in 1953, Governor General Vincent Massey in 1954, PM Chretien in 1997, Veterans Affairs Minister O'Toole in 2015 and Governor General Johnson last Month. Other dignitaries may have also visited these two important memorials to the US service men and women of the past.
Regular readers of these blogs know also that former Ambassador McKenna and Former Admiral Mack and several of the Canadian contingent at the Canadian embassy to the US also visited Arlington back in 2005 at my request. I understand that they and probably others from the embassy have visited both the Cross and the Tomb in the past. But in 2005 they made a special trip..on a very special day.
It was on July 1st, our birthday. And it was not to visit these two sites but to visit about a dozen actual graves... not of Americans..but of Canadians who had been awarded the US Medal of Honor for bravery and later were buried at Arlington.
There are at least 23, and probably more Canadians buried at Arlington. At least 10 are Cdn born MOH recipients, and another 7 MOH men there are recipients with connections to Canada. The 2005 visit was to place a wreath and do a brief service and fly our flag over the remains of these great INTERNATIONAL heroes.
But now, with the eyes of the world on them, they all missed the boat. In a matter of minutes they could have walked... or driven to many of the Canadian graves above mentioned, and once and for all gone on record as the head of state recognizing the importance of this small segment of some 100 plus men from, or connected to Canada that were awarded this highest of high awards in the US for their bravery. But instead...they kept walking..and driving to their next stop to be interviewed by students at a University.
After over 15 years of researching these matters I can not think of a single time when the Prime Minister of Canada has gone on record acknowledging any of these Canadian heroes. NOT ONE! And that is heartbreaking, and such a dis-service to the heroes, to the military and to our nation.
#1 is the grave for General John Curtis Gilmore. #2 is Lieutenant Doherty, though not a MOH man he led the men to capture Booth after the Lincoln assassination. #3 is the grave of General Martin T MacMahon, a later Minister of State to Uruguay. #4 is for Sgt Charles McGillivary, believed to be the only non American born President of the Congressional Medal of Honor Society. #5 is the Canadian Cross of Sacrifice. #6 is Private Jerry Cronan, a non recipient with a most interesting story, found in an earlier blog. #7 is army Captain Alexander Scott. #8 is one of the Miller Brothers. The only set of brothers from the Spanish American war to earn the MOH. #9 is Lt. Colonel, GH Morgan whom had a US war camp in Bosnia named in his honor. His father was one of several Canadians to reach the rank of general during the Civil War. #10 is John Harties Brown. # 11 is naval Captain John Grady. And finally # 12 is Henry Russell whom I hope you have read much in this space recently.
The above numbers are approximate locations.
The stories of these men have appeared in past blogs. The search engine at upper right on the home page will take to these stories.
As you can see from the map, The PM's travel to anyone of these or more, would not have taken that much time out of his busy day.
Back in 1927 the US Secretary of War responded to the speech made by Canadian delegates as they unveiled the Cross. His response noted that the Americans being honoured by the memorial... "lie buried wherever the Canadian dead are found upon the battlefields of France; as in a former age, Canadians clothed in the uniform of our army had been mingled with the dead on every great battlefield in our southland."
If the Americans can admit that we fought and died for them and the bigger cause, why is it so hard from the Canadian dignitaries to admit that we too did the same in wearing the American uniforms, fought and also died arm in arm with our American cousins. Some even coming home with a Medal of Honor.
We can start this recognition by pausing for a few moments of thought on March 25th, a few days away. Across the US they will be celebrating Medal of Honor Day on that day, as it was then, back in 1863 that the first ever Medals of Honor were presented. Though on later dates others were awarded for action before these men did their deeds.
On a final note, other duties will have me away from my computer next Sunday and so we all will have a break from my rantings.