Canadian Memorial Cross (Silver Cross)


Here in Canada, it has been tradition since 1919 to issue a Memorial Cross to the mother or widow of a soldier killed in the line of duty, from enemy action. The first Crosses were issued for the fallen from World War 1. This tradition continued through World War II and Korea and even unto today for soldiers killed on peacekeeping ops or in Afghanistan.

For many years, a recipient of the Cross, known as the Silver Cross Mother would lay a wreath on Remembrance Day on behalf of all mothers that lost a son. This is not so much the case today as few Silver Cross mothers are still with us.

Effective 1 January 2007, the Canadian government has decided to update the regulations that govern to whom a Memorial Cross may be issued upon the death of a soldier. Given that Canada and the Canadian Forces recognize same-sex relationships and marriages as well as common-law marriages and further given the changing definition of a "family" in modern Canadian society it was decided that the regulations needed to be expanded. Under the new regulations, up to three people that are designated by the soldier may receive the Memorial Cross. The only requirement is that the designated person be a living individual. A soldier may designate his (or her) mother, father, wife, husband, child or buddy fromt the bar. Or, they may choose to designate no one at all. It is entirely the soldier's decision.

Personally, I think the new regulations are a good move and will prevent hurt feelings.

I assume the UK forces issue a similar Memorial Cross. Are the regulations over there as "liberal" or are they still the more-traditional set of criteria? Do folks in the other countries (UK, US, Australia, anywhere) think that this ability of the soldier to designate up to three recipients of this item to be a good idea or one that should have been passed? Just interested in peoples thoughts on this. Cheers to all.
I think it sounds fair. Different family and personal situations should be recognized and accomadated. It's the least you can do for someone who has given his/her life.

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