The Royal Canadian Legion has selected the 2011/2012 Memorial (Silver) Cross Mother. She is Mrs. Mabel Girouard of Bathurst, New Brunswick. She will serve in this position until the end of October 2012. Mrs. Braun lost her son, Corporal David Braun, to a suicide bomber in Kandahar, Afghanistan on 22 August, 2006. Both biographies are attached.
She will lay a wreath at the National War Memorial on 11 November 2011 on behalf of all mothers who have lost sons or daughters in the military, para-military or the RCMP in the service of Canada.
The Memorial Cross, or "Silver Cross" as it is more commonly known, was first authorized for presentation by P.C. 2374 of December 1, 1919. This order approved the issue of a Memorial Cross to the mothers and widows of Canadian sailors and soldiers who lost their lives during the War (World War I) or whose deaths subsequent to discharge were considered attributable to
By P.C. 4210 of August 27, 1940, the issue of the Cross was authorized "as a memento” of personal loss and sacrifice on the part of Mothers and Widows of sailors, soldiers and airmen who have laid down their lives for their country during the present war" (World War II).
On March 28, 1941, by P.C. 2135, this was extended to cover merchant seamen who lost their lives through enemy action or whose subsequent death is attributable to War Service.
As a result of the outbreak of hostilities in Korea, P.C. 5812 of December 5, 1950 was passed broadening the application of the regulations to include those "who are killed in action, or who die in proceeding to or returning from an area of hostilities outside of Canada or who die of causes attributable to service in such areas, in consequence of any action undertaken by Canada under the United Nations Charter, the North Atlantic Treaty or any other instrument for collective defence that may be entered into by Canada".
In 1952, two changes were made in the Cross itself. As a result of the accession to the throne of Queen Elizabeth II, the Royal Cipher in the centre of the Cross was changed to "E II R". At the same time, a brooch bar was added from which the cross itself is suspended.
The brooch bar is the same size at either end but without the Royal Cipher, and is equipped with pin and safety-catch fastening. A length of purple ribbon is still issued with the cross; however, in the event that its wear as a neckpiece is preferred.
By an Order in Council entitled 2006-0424 of 19 May, 2006, Her Excellency the Governor General of Canada in Council, on the recommendation of the Minister of National Defence, ordered that the Memorial Cross, as previously described, be issued as a memento of personal loss and sacrifice to Jason Norman Beam, widower of Captain Nichola Goddard of Shilo, Manitoba, who was killed during actions in Afghanistan.
The Cross is now issued to up to three people as designated by the person who lost his or her life. View Department of National Defence message.