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Veterans Day sales: Tribute or tacky?

November 11, 2014

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Veterans Day, Nov. 11, is full of story ideas for business reporters. (Image by Jennifer1051 via Pixabay, CCO Creative Commons)

This is Veterans Day in the U.S., known as Remembrance Day in Canada and elsewhere. Social media, radio and television abound with ads offering deals both to veterans themselves and for shoppers in general.

But there’s a question, in Canada at least, whether the sales are disrespectful.

According to the CBC News, The Gap sent an apology after a Toronto veteran’s sister complained about a “Remembrance Day Deal” in which a vest was offered for $19.99.

“She was very much concerned with the subject line and the intent behind it, which was kind of, ‘Let’s profit on Remembrance Day, let’s have a big sale on Remembrance Day,'” Corporal Chuck Krangle told the Canadian network.

Krangle, who served in Afghanistan, said the point of the Nov. 11 commemorations was “not to exploit and profit from this day.” Many Canadians view Remembrance Day as a solemn day, particularly this year, after the murder of a Canadian service man at the National War Memorial in Ottawa a few weeks ago.

The Gap declined to appear on camera, but told the CBC, “We did not intend to offend anyone and we apologize if this has been the case.”

Elsewhere, retailers and restaurants across North America are offering all kinds of freebies for veterans, including Starbucks, Krispy Kreme and Olive Garden. Admission is free for all at National Parks on Veterans Day in the U.S. And a variety of attractions offer free admission to veterans, too.


Military.com’s list of freebies and discounts

Good Morning America’s list


  • Micheline Maynard

    Micheline is a contributing columnist at the Washington Post concentrating on business and culture. She has written about flooding in Detroit, tainted water in Benton Harbor, nationwide shortages of restaurant staff, and vaccine hesitancy.

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