Canada's Silver Cross Mother in Bathurst

Escorted into Bathurst by a large contingent of fire trucks, legion members, Canadian Forces Members and a Colour Party, The Portraits of Honour team had the exceptional privilege, upon arrival, of meeting Canada’s Silver Cross Mother from 2010, Mabel Girouard.

The Silver Cross Mother is chosen annually by the Royal Canadian Legion to lay a wreath during the Remembrance Day ceremony at the National War Museum in Ottawa on behalf of all the mothers who have lost children in the service of their country.

While this is a huge honour, Mrs. Girouard said that having the Portraits of Honour in her community, and seeing so many of her friends and neighbours out to show their support, was certainly just as meaningful to her. 

She had the opportunity to speak to dozens of youth from nearby schools who were in attendance for the formal ceremony on the Portraits of Honour stage. The students also heard from legion members, serving members of the Canadian forces, local dignitaries and Dave Sopha, artist of the Portraits of Honour.

They watched as the Mayor of Bathurst presented Mrs. Girourd with a picture of her son, Trooper Robert Girourd, and got a small glimpse of what it must be like for these courageous mothers to lose their brave sons and daughters.

Allowed onto the stage after the ceremony, you could hear many of the students quietly talking about the men and women on the mural and about the sacrifice they had made in Afghanistan. Like a good mother does, Mrs. Girouard had gotten these children to think, to learn and to care.