Silver Cross Mother Recognizes Death By Suicide

Private Thomas Welch was first Canadian soldier to return from Afghan war and take his own life

This year’s National Silver Cross Mother, for the first time, represents a soldier who died of suicide connected to military service.

Anita Cenerini, of Winnipeg, lost her son Pte. Thomas Welch when he took his life in 2004, shortly after returning from a tour of duty in Afghanistan.

He was 22.

Cenerini will place a wreath at the National War Memorial on Parliament Hill on Remembrance Day on behalf of all mothers who have lost a child in the military.

The Memorial Cross – more commonly referred to as the Silver Cross – introduced on December 1, 1919, is a symbol of personal loss and sacrifice on behalf of widows and mothers who lose a child on active duty, or whose death is later attributed to such duty. The Royal Canadian Legion’s provincial commands and individual Canadians submit nominations for the National Silver Cross Mother each year. The final recipient is chosen by a Dominion Command selection Committee.