Apology not a medal is in order

Apology not a medal is in order
Posted on November 9, 2013 | Earle Rheaume | Written on October 21, 2013
Letter type:

Sent via E-mail and Canada Post

Hon. Julian Fantino
Minister of Veterans Affairs
House of Commons
Ottawa, Ontario
K1A 0P4

Minister Fantino,

After accepting the Bomber Command Bar on behalf of my father Flt/Sgt Earl Stewart Rheaume (KIA) Iroquois Squadron 431 (R111159), I wondered what he would have thought of the medal and your message.

When our aircrew warriors returned home they were shunned and ostracized by the same ungrateful politicians that authorized and ordered them to bomb “non occupied civilian” targeted industrial sites.Later those warriors learned their raids had killed up to 600,000 mostly German civilians.

My father and over 55,573 out of a total of 125,000 aircrew (a 44.4% rate) of all Bomber Command warriors gave their lives so that future generations of Canadians would benefit from the freedoms we have today. They didn’t do it for any glory, medal or message from you or any other politician.

And now some seventy years later as Minister of Veterans Affairs you  have the insolence to bring forth  this medal to make all things right. You can’t change history or make “things” right with a medal.

If you really wanted to make things right you would have addressed those historical facts and figures and communicated the whole truth. An official apology was also long overdue and compulsory, but you chose the political route instead.


If you genuinely want to make things right correct the disgraceful benefits package that our men and woman veterans and their families live by.

Would my father be grateful for this Bomber Command bar? I highly doubt it.


Earle Rheaume

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Earle Rheaume's picture

Looking back over 72 years I had the good fortune to have had a wonderful mom, a great wife and family, a successful career in business and excellent health. Sure there were ups and downs but they were too few to... More