When we first heard that the Province of Manitoba would name one of its many lakes after local star Jonathan Toews on July 7, it seemed harmless (and amusing) enough.
What we didn’t know was that the region has a tradition of naming lakes after fallen soldiers, a tradition that apparently was infringed upon – at least according to one distressed parent – when Toews was given the honor of having a lake named after him. The Vancouver Sun captures the disapproval of Shirley Seggie, whose son Michael was killed in Afghanistan in 2008.
Among those complaining that the honour is undeserved is the mother of a soldier killed in Afghanistan.
“While it is commendable that Jonathan Toews has accomplished so much in his short life thus far, I feel it is a travesty he has had a lake named after him,” said Shirley Seggie.
“Our son Cpl. Michael James Alexander Seggie was killed in action in 2008 . . . thus far there has been no lake named after him despite a program that is in place to name lakes after military personnel killed in action.”
The program Seggie mentions is Manitoba’s own Commemorative Names Project, a program solely dedicated to naming geographic features after fallen soldiers. As it turns out Seggie’s son will be one of the five soldiers the province will honour this November.
“Every Manitoban soldier who is killed in battle is automatically nominated for a geographic fixture,” said MacAulay. “But under a national policy there is a mandated three-year wait period before we can go about naming.”
Follow the link to read a little bit more about the minute details of the case, as it seems like it might be more of an issue of bureaucracy as it is about anything else, as Puck Daddy’s Greg Wyshynski mentions in his story about the controversy.
There aren’t many sports writers who avoid falling into the habit of calling an athlete a “warrior” for risking an elbow to the head to score a goal or [insert other dangerous sports scenario]. It’s an understandable habit, but perhaps this is another reminder that we take sports a bit too seriously.
Luckily, Seggie’s son will receive that honor in November, so it seems like this situation won’t get too ugly.