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My letter

November 25 2007 at 7:28 AM
Michael Dorosh 

Response to Public insults

Mr. Stoffer;

I noted with dismay your comments in the November 24 issue of the Ottawa Citizen. I am aghast that you would refer to medal collectors as "scum of the earth." Particularly since you are so personally misguided, even if well-intentioned.

The fact remains that medals and insignia are not public property. I had thought the men that fought against Facism, Nazism, Communism and other unsavoury modes of government did so in order to preserve for us a unique way of life founded in democracy, capitalism, and freedom. Not only do you apparently disagree, but you insult people who cherish such ideals with language better suited for the gutter.

I have served honourably in the Canadian Forces for 20 years and have been decorated three times. My medals are precious to me, but when I pass on, I hope that they will be retained by someone to whom they have meaning. I have no children, no heirs to pass them on to. I could donate them to the regimental museum, who will already have a drawerful of the common awards I currently possess. The odds of them ever going on public display in such a circumstance are nil. They would simply sit in storage in perpetuity.

If some collector out there found value in them, I can think of nothing better than for him to be able to obtain my medals. If he was willing to pay for them, I think that would only speak to his willingness to care for and preserve them, as they would have been invested with a monetary value set by his willingness to pay. He would be able to display them for others, and a part of me would live on in respect and dignity.

The alternative you propose is to make the sale of medals illegal, which would mean that when thousands of men and women like me pass on, there will be no means of preservation for the medals. They will simply be thrown into the garbage as valueless, or go into storage at a local museum, never to be seen again. There would be no other option.

Please stop your immature and distracting crusade. As a published author who has written extensively on the subject of the Canadian Army, I find your behaviour offensive and an insult to all those, like me, who have ever proudly worn this nation's uniform and been presented with visible proof of appreciation of that service in the form of medals, decorations and insignia of orders.

Michael Dorosh
Calgary, Alberta

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