Sunday, November 12, 2006

Coach's Corner, Nov 11.

Don gave his usual "up the troops" spiff with photos from the troops. Fair enough, that's his usual. But he also devoted a large portion of his slot to every Canadian killed in Afghanistan since 2002, in chronological order, including Foreign Affairs civilian Glyn Berry. The difference between Cherry and the reflex support-Canada-at-war-coz-liberals-hate-the-army types is that I truly believe that these deaths deeply affect him. I don't think the fatalities affect a lot of politicians on all sides as much as they should. I understand Adrienne Clarkson is held in very high regard by former service members for her regard for the soldiers of which she was Commander in Chief.

So, in answer to Robert McClelland's question, I'll pick hero for Cherry. If he asked the same question about Peter McKay and Gordon O'Connor I'd probably pick useless fool.

The other thing I noticed about the game tonight was that because they sandwiched in the Hall of Fame game, of the four nominees (including one representing the late Herb Brookes) Patrick Roy appeared to be the only one (possibly the only one on the ice and one of the few in the ACC) not wearing a poppy.

Now, I don't wear one. Growing up in Ireland, a poppy is unfortunately a political statement hijacked by Crown loyalists but also by republicans as a hate symbol for those self same loyalists. Rather than November 11, Ireland observes (in a far more low key way, inappropriately so) the National Day of Commemoration on the Sunday nearest July 11 (the end of the War of Independence) in a ceremony remembering deaths on United Nations missions. While Ireland was neutral in the second world war thousands of "Free Staters" joined the Allies to defeat fascism. I don't wear an Easter lily either which is my way of finding an uneasy balance.

I think I might feel differently when I become a Canadian citizen, hopefully by the time Nov 11 2009 rolls around. I wonder if Roy's omission was deliberate and if so what his thinking is. Could it be his inclusion in this Wikipedia category?

UPDATE: The Globe and Mail's Tim Wharnsby noticed too, although comments posted mention that poppies do fall off.
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