Mrs. Gisèle Michaud is the National Memorial Silver Cross Mother for 2014, as appointed by Tom Eagles, dominion president, Royal Canadian Legion.
As the National Memorial Silver Cross Mother Michaud will lay a wreath at the National War Memorial on 11 November on behalf of all Canadian mothers who have lost a son or a daughter in military action or during the course of normal duties. Throughout the year she will also be called on to perform duties honouring the fallen from all past and present conflicts.
“They called me on the telephone to tell me that I was the Silver Cross Mother. I was overwhelmed to have the position, to represent all mothers. Particularly after what has happened in the last few weeks in Canada,” said Gisèle Michaud, National Memorial Silver Cross Mother 2014.
Born and raised in Edmundston, New Brunswick Gisele married Conrad Michaud in 1971. She worked in retail, but has since retired. She has one other son Denis, older brother of the late MCpl Michaud.
Michaud still lives in Edmundston. She is the fifth mother from New Brunswick to be named as the National Memorial Silver Cross Mother since the Royal Canadian Legion began this tradition more than sixty years ago.
Michaud lost her youngest son, Master Corporal Charles-Philippe Michaud, when he was mortally wounded stepping on an improvised explosive device while on patrol in the Panjwayi District, southwest of Kandahar City, Afghanistan on June 23rd, 2009. He was transported to a Quebec City hospital on June 28th, 2009 and passed away on July 4th, of that same year.
“My son Charles loved his career and wearing the uniform. He was a mentor and a leader until the end of his life,” said Michaud.
For the past five years, Michaud has undertaken a number of activities to honour her son’s memory. Mrs. Michaud, accompanied by her husband and her eldest son, travelled to Kandahar in November 2010. She hosts large delegations of soldiers from Master Corporal Michaud’s battalion on the anniversary of her son’s passing and on Remembrance Day.
“My son was the joy in our family. He loved sports and he loved music. Charles was simply our joy,” said Michaud.
The Memorial Silver Cross was instituted on December 1, 1919 and was issued as a memento of personal loss and sacrifices on behalf of all widows and mothers who lost a child while on active duty in the service of their nation or whose death was consequently attributed to such duty.
Annually, Legion Provincial Commands and individuals forward nominations for the selection of a National Memorial 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 the following year.
The Silver Cross Mother will place 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.