Children receive Memorial Cross for father killed in Afghanistan
Published Sunday, November 11, 2012 6:34PM EST
Last Updated Sunday, November 11, 2012 10:37PM EST
At a special service in Halifax this Remembrance Day, hundreds gathered to remember loved ones who died in the line of duty.
Among the many were three children wearing tiny silver crosses and laying a wreath in honour of their father and all the families of Canadian Forces members killed in service.
Makayla, Michael and Jenna Curwin were able to honour their father at the service due to recent changes that allow up to three people to lay a wreath on behalf of loved ones killed in active duty.
Since 1919, the Memorial Cross has been given only to mothers and widows, and the designation has become commonly known as the "silver cross mother.”
Now Canadian Forces members can designate up to three people who can receive the cross and lay a wreath on their behalf.
Before the Curwin children’s father, Pte. John Curwin, died in Afghanistan four years ago, he designated them to receive the cross.
Makayla, Michael and Jenna were among the few children wearing the crosses at the service.
“I believe I am representing my dad because he chose us -- me, my brother and sister -- to be the recipients of the Memorial Cross, so it's special for us,” his daughter Makayla Curwin told CTV Atlantic.
Curwin was killed, along with two other Canadian soldiers, when a bomb hit their armoured vehicle.
“I am sad I have to be here to do this because I never thought that would happen, but it's honourable, I guess you could say, to be able to have this and be able to do this in his memory,” Makayla said.
The children wear the silver crosses every Remembrance Day.
“This was kind of a good way for the public to see the children of the fallen soldiers and the impact that it has on them and that they are just as big a part of this as the mother and the wife,” their mother Laura Curwin said.
The children say their father had a sarcastic sense of humour and loved to spend time with his family.
“What I remember was that I was daddy's girl and my first word was ‘daddy,’” Jenna Curwin said.
With a report from CTV Atlantic’s Kelland Sundahl