The Legion’s 2016 Poppy Campaign starts October 28 when millions of Canadians across the country will be wearing a Poppy to honour and remember the service and sacrifice of Canada’s Veterans. As we lead up to this season of Remembrance, The Royal Canadian Legion and all of Canada pay special tribute to Canada’s Silver Cross Mothers.
The Memorial (Silver) Cross was first authorized in 1919 as a symbol 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. Each year, a National Silver Cross Mother is chosen to represent the Mothers of Canada at the National Remembrance Day Ceremony in Ottawa. The Silver Cross Mother holds the position from November 1 through October 31 of the following year.
The current 2015-2016 National Silver Cross Mother is Mrs. Sheila Anderson, from Yellowknife, Northwest Territories who had held the position since November 1, 2015. Mrs. Anderson and her husband James Anderson lost their eldest son, Corporal Jordan Anderson, when a roadside bomb killed six Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan, as well as an Afghan interpreter, in the Panjwaii district southwest of Kandahar City on July 4, 2007. Corporal Anderson, was the oldest of four brothers, Benjamin, Mathew, and Samuel.
The National Silver Cross Mother is an honoured and sacred role, a role that is uniquely personal yet also touches the hearts of all Canadians as we mourn our country’s Fallen. As part of her role and one of her first duties, the National Silver Cross Mother places a wreath at the National Remembrance Day Ceremony on behalf of all Mothers who have lost children in the military service of their nation. After last year’s ceremony, Mrs. Anderson spoke of how her thoughts went to her son as she stood before the National War Memorial, and how she felt comforted by the warmth of a grateful nation as she placed the wreath at its base. As she explained, “The pain never goes away. But the opportunity to talk about Jordan, and have him be honoured, is wonderful too.”
As we approach November 1 and the end of her term as the National Silver Cross Mother, we thank Mrs. Anderson for her courage and her service in representing Silver Cross Mothers of Canada. On behalf of The Royal Canadian Legion, and the People of Canada, we are forever grateful for the service and sacrifice of her son, Corporal Jordan Anderson and of all of Canada’s Fallen Veterans.
Lest we forget.
Read about Mrs. Anderson’s son, Corporal Jordan James Anderson
Corporal Jordan Anderson and five other Canadian soldiers and an Afghan interpreter were killed when their armoured vehicle struck an explosive device while returning from a patrol just south of Nakhonay in Panjwaii district approximately 20 km southwest of Kandahar City on July 4th 2007 – some two weeks before his 26th birthday and only a few weeks from the end of his second six-month tour in August 2007.
He was a member of the 3rd Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, based out of Edmonton, Alberta. Born in 1981, in Iqaluit, Nunavut, he joined the Canadian Armed Forces in 2000 in Regina, Saskatchewan.
His widow, Amanda, who had married Jordan on July 22nd 2005, accepted a posthumous degree in Bachelor of Arts on his behalf from the University of Manitoba. He’d been studying online while serving overseas. It was the first time since the Korean War that a degree was given out posthumously.
Corporal Anderson served two tours in Afghanistan. He first served in 2002, receiving the South-West Asia Service Medal – Afghanistan Bar (SWASM). In 2007, Cpl. Anderson received the General Campaign Star – South-West Asia (GCS-SWA) and the Sacrifice Medal (awarded posthumously).
In 2005, Cpl. Anderson’s parachute training almost ended his career when a jump went wrong and he crushed two vertebrae. The doctors reportedly gave him a 2% chance of ever jumping again and only a 10% chance of being able to stay in the infantry. But he refused to give up and eventually returned to active military service.
Corporal Anderson arrived in Kandahar for his second tour of duty in 2007. He was 25 years old and the 66th fallen soldier from Canada’s mission in Afghanistan. He was given a military funeral and is buried in the National Military Cemetery at Beechwood Cemetery, Ottawa.
Nominating a Silver Cross Mother
Legion Provincial Commands and individuals may forward nominations for the selection of a National Memorial (Silver) Cross Mother to Dominion Command. For information on how to nominate a Silver Cross Mother, please contact Danny Martin at email@example.com.
The 2016-2017 National Memorial (Silver) Cross Mother will be announced on November 1, 2016.