Memorial (Silver) Cross Mother
The National Memorial (Silver) Cross Mother is chosen annually by The Royal Canadian Legion to represent the mothers of Canada at the National Remembrance Day Ceremony in Ottawa on 11 November.
The Memorial (Silver) Cross was first authorized on December 1, 1919 as a memento of personal loss and sacrifice on the part of widows and mothers of Canadian sailors, aviators and soldiers who died for their country during the war.
Today, the National Memorial (Silver) Cross Mother is chosen by the Legion to represent the mothers of Canada at the National Remembrance Day Ceremony in Ottawa. At the Ceremony, the Silver Cross Mother places a wreath at the base of the National War Memorial on behalf of all those mothers who have lost children in the military service of their nation.
Every year, Legion Provincial Commands and individuals forward nominations for the selection of a National Silver Cross Mother. These nominations are reviewed by a selection committee at Dominion Command and one mother is chosen for the year which begins on 01 November until 31 October of the following year.
2016 National Memorial (Silver) Cross Mother – Mrs. Colleen Fitzpatrick
As the National Silver Cross Mother, Mrs. Fitzpatrick will place a wreath at the National War Memorial on 11 November 2016 on behalf of all Canadian mothers who have lost a son or a daughter in the military either in action or in the course of his/her normal duty. Throughout the year, she will also be called upon to perform other duties honouring the Fallen from all conflicts.
Mrs. Colleen Fitzpatrick
Mrs. Fitzpatrick was born in New Westminster, BC and raised in Vanderhoof, BC. She now lives in Prince George, BC with her sons, grandchildren and her husband Jim of 32 years.
Colleen and Jim Fitzpatrick raised three sons Michael, Darren and Sean respectively. Colleen has worked in Human Resources for the past 15 years and is currently the Director of Human Resources for AiMHi – Association for Community Living, an organization that provides advocacy, support and services to people who have special needs.
Colleen’s son Darren received significant blood transfusions upon arrival at Kandahar hospital. The incredible medical attention and blood donations received allowed him two additional weeks with his family before his passing. Since this time Colleen has become an advocate for blood donation working closely with Canadian Blood Services to develop a promotional video and blood donation campaign called “Remember the Power of Giving” for which she received a national award.
Colleen is also committed to her community and has volunteered in several capacities including Director on not-for-profit Boards and her professional provincial HR Association.
Colleen enjoys spending time at their summer cottage with her family, three young grandchildren and close friends.
Corporal Darren James Fitzpatrick
Corporal Fitzpatrick was a member of the 3rd Battalion of Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI). Born in June 1988, he joined the Canadian Armed Forces in 2006. During his tour to Afghanistan he was advance promoted to Corporal, working with the Operational Mentor and Liaison Team.
Corporal Fitzpatrick was mortally wounded after stepping on an improvised explosive device while on patrol in the Zahari District, near Kandahar City, Afghanistan on March 6, 2010.
Darren was a kind hearted passionate individual with a desire to help others. He was extremely close to his two brothers and was a most loyal friend. He enjoyed the comradery of the military and developed strong bonds with his PPCLI family.
The family has established memorial bursaries in their son’s name awarded annually to students seeking careers with the Canadian Armed Forces.
The City of Prince George has dedicated a city park as a memorial and one of only two bravery parks in Canada titled the “Cpl. Darren Fitzpatrick Bravery Park”.
He was 21 years old and the 141st fallen soldier from Canada’s mission in Afghanistan.
“Fitzy” as he was known by friends and family is remembered as a loving son, brother, loyal friend and a model soldier. He was an avid snow boarder, loved playing football but most of all enjoyed spending time with family and cousins at the summer cabin.