18 May 2008

Victoria Cross unveiled

On Friday, 16 May, Her Excellency the Right Honourable Michaëlle Jean, Governor General of Canada, unveiled the Victoria Cross currently in place at the peak of Canada's national honours system. Although approved in 1993 as one of the three Military Valour Decorations (including the Star of Military Valour and the Medal of Military Valour), only the latter two decorations had yet been manufactured and awarded. Friday's unveiling is the culmination of several years of effort to bring the "Canadianization" of the Victoria Cross to fruition and involved the work of many government departments.

The Governor General's website also has links to Her Excellency's speech, a hi-res photo of the decoration (the one accompanying this post), and a PDF booklet on the history of Canada and the Victoria Cross.

And, please, if I may be so bold - can we just agree to call this the "Victoria Cross" and not the "Canadian Victoria Cross"? This decoration is totally ours. The decoration awarded to Canadians in the past can be respectfully and reverently deemed to be the British Victoria Cross. The newly-produced decorations needs no such prefix.

Note: I found a bunch more information than the PDF booklet mentioned above at the website of DND's Directorate of Honours and Recognition here and here. It was never the intention of the Pro Valore booklet to include such levels of detail. I'm glad to see the details appear on the DH&R site.

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