The Royal Canadian Legion’s Dominion President David Flannigan is honoured to introduce Mrs. Diana Abel as the National Silver Cross Mother for 2017.
Mrs. Abel’s only son, Corporal Michael David Abel, died on May 3, 1993 while serving in Belet Huen, Somalia, as part of Operation Deliverance. This operation was part of a United Nations peacekeeping effort during the early part of the Somali Civil War.
Born in Ottawa, Mrs. Abel and her late husband David C. Abel raised two children, their son Michael and daughter Laura. Mrs. Abel now lives in Brampton, ON where she spends time volunteering and traveling with her daughter and three grandchildren.
As the National Silver Cross Mother, Mrs. Abel will place a wreath at the National War Memorial on November 11, 2017. She will do so on behalf of all Canadian mothers who have lost a son or a daughter in the military either in action or in the course of normal duty. Mrs. Abel will be accompanied by her grandson John Michael McRae, who is a member of the 557 Lorne Scots Army Cadet Corp in Brampton.
From November 1, 2017 to October 31, 2018 this year’s Silver Cross Mother will also perform a range of duties honouring the Fallen from all conflicts.
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. Royal Canadian Legion provincial commands and individuals submit nominations for the National Silver Cross Mother who is chosen by a Dominion Command selection committee.