Saturday, March 3, 2007

World War I in the news: Victoria Cross

A great story reported in the weekend's Toronto Globe & Mail about the upcoming 90th anniversary of the battle of Vimy Ridge. The Victoria Cross, the highest reward for military bravery in the Commonwealth, will apparently be again made available to Canadians in April when Her Majesty hands the Victoria Cross to our Prime Minister.

The medals are made from the bronze of cannon at a fort captured during the Crimean War.

The revival of the VC is a testament to the persistence of veterans' groups – notably the Royal Canadian Legion – which for years lobbied the federal government to reinstate it as Canada's foremost decoration for military valour. The VC was shunned in 1972 [i.e. by the Pierre Trudeau Liberals] when the government created a new Canadian honours system that neglected that the country might be at war again. The new system included military honours for meritorious service and bravery but nothing specifically for rare instances of military valour.

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