THUNDER BAY – NEWS – Tom Eagles, Dominion President of The Royal Canadian Legion, announced Mrs. Sheila Anderson as the National Memorial (Silver) Cross Mother for 2015-2016 earlier today here at Dominion Command.
Mrs. Anderson lost her eldest son, Corporal Jordan Anderson, when a roadside bomb killed six Canadian soldiers in Afghanistan, as well as an Afghan interpreter, in the Panjwaii district southwest of Kandahar City on July 4th 2007.
Mrs. Anderson lives in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories. She is the first National Memorial (Silver) Cross Mother from the Northwest Territories since the Legion began this tradition more than sixty years ago.
As the National Memorial (Silver) Cross Mother, Mrs. Anderson will lay a wreath at the National War Memorial on 11 November 2015 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 his/her normal duty. Throughout the year she will also be called upon to perform other duties honouring the Fallen from all conflicts.
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.
Every year, 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 October 31st of the following year.
Mrs. Anderson’s husband, Mr. James Anderson, will be at the ceremony.
Mrs. Sheila Elizabeth Anderson
Mrs. Anderson (née Cossar) was born and raised in Toronto, ON. She eventually moved to Ottawa where she worked in a treatment centre for emotionally disturbed adolescents (Ottawa Carleton Regional Residential Treatment Centre) before she got married in 1977 to a High School teacher named James Anderson. They moved to the Northwest Territories where they have spent the past 38 years. She currently works as the Manager, Territorial Courts with the Department of Justice, Gov’t of the Northwest Territories. Her son, Corporal Anderson, was the oldest of four brothers, Benjamin, Mathew, and Samuel.
Mrs. Anderson took a three-and-a-half year hiatus from her career in the gov’t to pursue a Bachelor of Arts in Public Administration (UNBC) and graduated in May 2015. This past year, she also combined her love of cycling to helping raise funds through the Boomer’s Legacy Ride from Comox to Victoria. Funds raised through this program are used to help Veterans with PTSD.
Mrs. Anderson has always actively participated in Legion Remembrance Day ceremonies in Inuvik, Saskatoon, and Prince George. She has also laid wreaths for the fallen/unknown soldiers in Yellowknife. Her husband is also an ordinary member of Canada’s northern most Royal Canadian Legion in Inuvik NWT.
Corporal Jordan James Anderson
Corporal Jordan Anderson and five other Canadian soldiers and an Afghan interpreter were killed when their armoured vehicle struck an explosive device while returning from a patrol just south of Nakhonay in Panjwaii district approximately 20 km southwest ofKandahar City on July 4th 2007 – some two weeks before his 26th birthday and only a few weeks from the end of his second six-month tour in August 2007.
He was a member of the 3rd Battalion, Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, based out of Edmonton, Alberta. Born in 1981, inIqaluit, Nunavut, he joined the Canadian Armed Forces in 2000 in Regina, Saskatchewan.
His widow, Amanda, who had married Jordan on July 22nd 2005, accepted a posthumous degree in political science on his behalf from the University of Manitoba. He’d been studying online while serving overseas.
Corporal Anderson served two tours in Afghanistan. He first served in 2002, receiving the General Campaign Star-International Security Assistance Force.
In 2005, Cpl. Anderson’s parachute training almost ended his career when a jump went wrong and he crushed two vertebrae. The doctors reportedly gave him a 2% chance of ever jumping again and only a 10% chance of being able to stay in the infantry. But he refused to give up and eventually returned to active military service.
Corporal Anderson arrived in Kandahar for his second tour of duty in 2007. He was 25 years old and the 66th fallen soldier fromCanada’s mission in Afghanistan. He was given a military funeral and is buried in the National Military Cemetery at Beechwood Cemetery, Ottawa.