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Vets say bar is 'sexualizing' Remembrance Day

DAMIEN WOOD, QMI Agency

CALGARY -- Remembrance Day is not the day to throw a "makeout party," say veterans aggravated at the audacity of a Calgary bar doing just that.

Local 510 is gearing up for a "Remembrance Day Makeout Party," a free event being advertised with a poster featuring the iconic image of a sailor smooching his girl.

The poster says: Make love, not war.

Al Seddon, a 76-year-old Royal Canadian Air Force vet with more than 20 years of service, said it's not so much the event but rather the phrasing that's offensive.

"Makeout party implies it would almost be a sexual connotation," he said.

Former NATO soldier and Mideast peacekeeper Ray Hessler, 83, agrees, and said sexualizing Remembrance Day is disrespectful.

"I don't agree with it at all," he said. "It's very offensive, I think."

But Seddon figures it's not going to matter much to the younger crowd the event is likely to attract -- he said his generation is having a difficult time getting young people to understand what he and others who served went through.

Seddon said they'll just see it as another party.

But, Local 510's Nov. 11 event actually does offend at least one 26-year-old who said he was a regular at the tavern before seeing the poster.

Mike O'Brien said he won't go back now.

"While I personally don't take issue with bars being open or liquor being served on the day, I do find the tasteless sexualization of a day meant to honour our veterans' sacrifices offensive," he said.

QMI Agency was unable to reach Local 510's owner or manager Sunday evening, with staff saying they weren't expected in, and a message to the tavern's promoter went unreturned.

damien.wood@sunmedia.ca


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