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WW2 Veterans Medal Sales

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I saw this article on another forum and thought it may interest a few people here. Personally I think it is a very bad idea. It should be down to individuals what they do with their medals. Obviously form a collectors point of view it would not be good, but it is all seems a bit late now for WW2 veterans and would this proposal only apply to current serving soldiers?

My grandfather like many men returning home from WW2 felt sold down the river by the government and subsequently never collected his medals. He didn't give two hoots about them for the rest of his life and never thought of getting them even decades later. I managed to get them many years after he died direct from the medal office. He probably would never have approved of me doing this, but I am proud of what he did and wanted something to remember his contribution and keep within my family.

His feelings were exactly the opposite of what this veteran feels, so who is he to speak on behalf of veterans?

Keith Doucette

Canadian Press

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

HALIFAX -- It's been almost 60 years since Second World War veteran Reid Myers felt the heat of combat.

But his voice breaks with emotion when he tries to explain what the row of carefully polished war medals on his chest means to him.

"I carry a lot of respect. . . . I know that I'll always remember my fallen comrades," he said.

Myers, 82, of Fall River, N.S., was among 13 war veterans who turned out Wednesday to support Halifax-area MP Peter Stoffer's quest to make the sale of war decorations illegal.

Myers, who served in Europe with the 4th Armoured Division, said his medals mean more to him now than they did when he was younger.

"It seems to affect you more later in life because you were too busy back then to think about it - being young and vibrant," he said.

Stoffer, a New Democrat, plans to introduce a private member's bill in the House of Commons in February to coincide with the Year of the Veteran.

He said the move was inspired by a recent public campaign to prevent the sale of a Victoria Cross to a British collector.

Canadians raised $300,000 to keep the medal at home.

Stoffer said preventing the sale of symbols is a matter of respect for veterans and their service to Canada.

"The medals that the men and women wear are not currency," he said at a news conference.

While private members' bills rarely succeed in becoming legislation, Stoffer said he's optimistic this one will gain the support of all MPs.

"There's nothing wrong with the idea being taken by the government and have them run with it, which is something I would encourage," he said.

George Atwood, 84, also a veteran of action overseas with the 4th Armoured Division, knows it's an uphill battle to get a new law in place.

"Canadians are more aware than they were even six months ago, but I think it's still going to take a lot of education," said Atwood, of Sackville, N.S.

Under current legislation, veterans are not permitted to sell their medals, but they can be sold by family members who inherit them.

? Canadian Press 2004

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