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NHL: An Open Letter To Don Cherry

Rick Stewart/Getty Images
BC ISLEMANContributor IIJune 7, 2010

I am a US citizen, married to a Canadian national, and living in Terrace, BC, the outgoing Hockeyville winner—for which thank you and the folks at Kraft very much.

I always enjoy watching Coaches Corner during the Hockey Night in Canada broadcasts. I might not always agree with you, but you are always entertaining and those jackets of yours...!!!!

I was a bit taken aback, however, by something you said on last night's broadcast. You started out by honoring the Canadians who served their country so bravely in the D-Day invasion. They certainly are deserving and I was touched by some of your initial commentary. It starts about the 4:00 mark and continues until 5:19.

You also alluded to video footage that British documentaries sometimes claim to be of British soldiers going ashore on D-Day when they're really Canadian soldiers. That's fair enough. I remember having to correct a BBC account of D-Day that didn't mention Canadian participation at all.

But then you said something that disturbed and offended me. You said that the Canadians on D-Day were the best and that the Canadians serving in Afghanistan are the best.

I am a US Navy veteran who served in the evacuation of Saigon and the Mayaguez rescue in 1975. My late father and my uncles served along with Canadians in WWII and in Korea. My sister's nephew has served with distinction in Iraq and Afghanistan. It was very unfortunate that you denigrated the service of my relatives and so many others in this manner.

I never hesitate to point out to my fellow Americans and others the heroic contributions of the CF in Afghanistan, and I am pleased that you are so consistent in your praise of them. But this time, you were out of line.

There's a way to make it right that would probably be pretty good entertainment as well. Montclair, N.J., is just about two hours by car from the Wachovia Centre where HNiC will be broadcasting from Wednesday.

Montclair is, among other things, home to one Lawrence Peter "Yogi" Berra. Aside from being a MLB HOF player, coach, and manager, Mr. Berra is also a combat veteran of the D-Day invasion. He described his experiences in this video interview for the YES Channel:

A conversation between you and Yogi would be some pretty good TV viewing and you could explain to Yogi that you did not mean to denigrate Yogi's or any other US veteran's service by your comments.

I hope that you will consider this idea.

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