Remembrance Day is a day for many things, but is it an appropriate day for a 'makeout party?'
A questionable advertisement for a Remembrance Day party at a Calgary bar has some veterans steamed and wondering what has become of the day of observance.
Local 510 Public Kitchen and Tavern, a bar in the 500 block of 17 Ave. S.W., is calling on patrons to celebrate a "Remembrance Day Makeout Party" on Nov. 11. The ad features Alfred Eisenstaedt's iconic 'V-J Day in Times Square' photograph - a picture of a sailor bending a nurse in a white uniform back for a smooch in Times Square.
The ad copy reads "Make Love, Not War."
Royal Canadian Air Force vet Al Seddon, 76, told The Calgary Sun that while the event is not offensive, the wording on the poster is.
“Makeout party implies it would almost be a sexual connotation,” he said.
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Fellow veteran Ray Hessler agrees that a somber occasion like Remembrance Day should not be sexualized.
“I don’t agree with it at all,” he told The Calgary Sun. “It’s very offensive, I think.”
Calgary's Twitter community took to the platform to announce their dismay with what they believe is a disrespectful event.
The bar was using Twitter to promote the event. This weekend they tweeted, "Sunday November 11th: Remembrance Day Makeout Party! 9pm & FREE! #yyc #party," but have since deleted the tweet.
I used to like @local510 but thanks to their complete disrespect to our veterans, I'll be taking my money to the local legion instead.
— Clayton Sykes (@tronneroi) October 9, 2012
Richard Singh (@rsinghphoto) went so far as to call the ad 'disgraceful."
— Richard Singh (@rsinghphoto) October 8, 2012
However, some veterans argue that the meaning of the holiday has been lost on young people and that the bar's ad is a reflection of that.
WWII veteran Bill Cheeseman told CTV Calgary that it's unlikely many veterans are still patronizing bars, so the ad doesn't bother him much.
“If you don’t want to go, you don’t have to go,” he said.
Seddon agrees, telling the Sun that his generation is struggling to get younger generations to understand the meaning behind the day. Younger people will likely think of the holiday as just another reason to party, he said.
This is the second year in a row a Calgary bar has caught trouble for advertising a Remembrance Day party.
Last year the Roadhouse Nightclub and Bar ran a short-lived radio ad on 90.3 AMP promoting a party the evening before the national holiday. Questionable lines from the ad included "What will you remember on Nov. 11th? That you were at the Roadhouse the night before and didn’t have to go to work the next day," and, "On Friday Nov. 11, you will remember you had the best night ever the day before."
The bar eventually pulled the radio spot and apologized for the gaffe after many Canadians complained.