Watching sons leave part of remembrance

Canada’s National Silver Cross Mother for 2019, Reine Samson Dawe from Kingston, Ontario, will lay a wreath at the Remembrance Day observance in Ottawa. She will do so on behalf of all our nation’s mothers who have lost a child to war. Across Canada, many community Legions have chosen a Silver Cross mother to do the same at local services.

“I have to represent all those mothers, particularly the ones of all the soldiers who were killed in Afghanistan,” Samson Dawe said. “I’m certainly not alone, and my duty is to represent them. And I want to do so with dignity and thinking about them all, you know, sharing their grief.”

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This will be the eighty-third year that a mother has been chosen to embody, on behalf of Canada, not only her own sorrow but that experienced by every mother who has lost a child in military service.

I have not lost a child to war. I am so thankful for these brave, vulnerable, visible women who willingly stand to share their grief. Having a child raises the sense of mortality to new levels in every mother.

We take on the joys and challenges of investing our hearts and souls into that precious new life we have been entrusted with. The loss of any child is difficult to bear, but losing a child to war? I have no words to describe that sorrow. As I have had the honour of serving our Veterans through the House of Commons I have been embraced with grace, patience and honesty by so many who have shared their grief experiences.

We must not forget that our freedoms have been paid for by our Canadian Armed Forces, our Veterans, their families and the Fallen. They expect that we will value those freedoms and those who fought for them. That we will guard them from creeping barrages of complacency, indifference and ignorance.

This Remembrance Day, as I lay a wreath on behalf of the Canadian government in Canora, Saskatchewan, I am looking forward to also presenting a certificate of appreciation to Veteran Lee Harper who will be 100 years and one day old on November 11th. He too had a mother who  watched him leave.

This is what military mothers do.

See Mayor Bob Maloney's Remembrance Day message here.

See MLA Greg Ottenbreit’s Remembrance Day message here.

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