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5:36pm on Tuesday, 10th June, 2008:

Honouring the Brave


Here's the front-page headline of today's Daily Mirror:

The story is that the relatives of soldiers killed in action will be given an emblem they can wear to show the country's gratitude to them, which is fair enough. The Daily Mirror campaigned for this, and it's a popular sentiment; the government has decided to act on it, and may even back-date it to conflicts as far back as the Falklands.

However, this is not "honouring the brave", this is honouring the fallen.

The words on the Victoria Cross are "FOR VALOUR". The original wording was to be "FOR BRAVERY", but The Queen herself vetoed this on the grounds that "all my soldiers are brave".

It's good that relatives are getting something they can wear to show the sacrifice made by their loved ones, but the Daily Mirror should know better than to suggest you have to be killed to be brave.

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Copyright © 2008 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).