Respect for veterans not lacking here


While respect for Canada's military veterans is moribund in some of our institutions,  we are happy to report it is alive and well among other people in uniform.

We know this because Wednesday's Brockville police services board meeting, while dominated as always by operational issues, did include one little item of the heartwarming variety.

Police Chief Scoff Fraser will often include a noteworthy item of correspondence or two in these monthly meetings, and Wednesday's meeting included an email to the police force from a veteran and his wife.

Dorothy and John Belland wrote that, on the afternoon of Easter Sunday, they were getting onto the Highway 401 onramp when city police officers stopped them for a RIDE check.

The officer who approached their vehicle noticed the veteran's licence plate and asked who in the car was the veteran.

To our surprise and compliment the gentleman officer THANKED him for his service to our country,” Dorothy Belland wrote in the email (emphasis hers), adding the couple returned the compliment by thanking the officer, and all police officers, for the dangerous service they provide.

Is it possible this item of correspondence was included in the regular business of a police services board meeting to remind everyone how fine a bunch of lads and ladies we have on the Brockville police force, months away from the expected resumption of the OPP costing process?

Yes, it's possible.

But is it possible that management at the police station are telling the officers to remember and thank every veteran they see for their service to the country, because that's good PR for the Brockville Police Service?

Well, possible, but not very likely.

This being Brockville, a town that feels blessedly less snarly in the afterglow of finally turning the online comments off, I choose to believe the gratitude expressed to this veteran waiting in a RIDE check was heartfelt and spontaneous.

As it should be, all the time, whether one is a cop or a bureaucrat. And the same goes for the return compliment, whether it's to a Brockville cop or an OPP officer.