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Tarnished Cross: Insult to Injury

by Mark Preston

dominique and Peter Gunther lost their Son Daniel in Buci Bosnia on the 18 of June 1993.

When a Canadian soldier dies a silver cross which bears the Queens E-R is sent to the family as a matter of tribute to the ultimate sacrifice given. The fact that this cross was mailed to the Gunther's is appalling when it could have been presented by a representative of the Armed Forces. Peter Gunther worked at Land Force Command Headquarters in St. Hubert which I assure you is full of Senior Officers. There is no shortage of Generals and Colonels in this place.

Daniel Gunther But even for those who live in remote areas of our Country it would not be hard to coordinate some type of ceremony or presentation using the resources from one of the many Armouries across Canada. Any one of these armouries could have sent a representative and even the padre to formally present the silver cross to the bereaved family. This is not the practice though and in not doing so a serious mistake was made. Instead we send them in the mail. Can you imagine that? Mailing such an item seems cold and impersonal.

You see the crosses mailed to Peter and Dominique Gunther and Daniel's Widow Marie-Josée we're covered with years of tarnish. Instead of a shining silver cross, they had received a severely tarnished sterling silver cross. This was a mistake I'm sure not intended to insult the memory of Corporal Daniel Gunther, but a mistake of ignorance.

If the the proper care and attention had been paid, this mistake would have never have happened. It is very disheartening to hear a story such as this. I have always thought that we as Canadians had a little more tact, a little more compassion. I always thought that we would honour the families of our fallen Canadian's with a bit more understanding. At a minimum in matters such as this we should be obliged to pay attention to detail.

Mark Isfeld Sadly, the Gunther's had to find out from a collector of Military Medals. Every Remembrance Day since the time of her Son's death Dominique has worn this tarnished cross representing the loss of her son. She was unaware that it had not been delivered in it's proper state, unaware that her good friend Carol Isfeld had been sent a sterling silver cross that was shiny and untarnished after the death of her son Mark Isfeld who was killed on 21 Jun 1994 while clearing mines in Croatia.

Every Remembrance Day we stop and take our minutes of silence. That is one day we remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice in the name of Freedom and in the name of Peace. For us it is but one day out of 365. For Peter and Dominique Gunther and Brian and Carol Isfeld they remember every day the Sacrifice their Son's made.

We owe them much. Remembering is a small price to pay.

That's My 2 Cents

This Remembrance Day Show you care.

Visit Daniel's site at:
In Loving Memory Of Our Son, Corporal Daniel Gunther

Visit Mark's site at:
A Tribute to Mcpl Mark Robert Isfeld

Mark Preston edits and maintains the Canadian Veteran's Alliance site. "The CVA, as known to it's members, was brought about because of the Canadian Government's apparent lethargic approach to taking care of its Vets."
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