Fitzpatrick named National Silver Cross Mother

Colleen Fitzpatrick has been named this year's National Silver Cross Mother by the Royal Canadian Legion.

She'll place a wreath at the National War Memorial in Ottawa on Nov. 11 in honour of her son Cpl. Darren Fitzpatrick, who was critically injured Mar. 6, 2010 when he stepped on an improvised explosive device while on patrol in Afghanistan. The 21-year-old was the first Prince George resident to die in combat since the Second World War.

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Fitzpatrick
In 2013 Colleen and Jim Fitzpatrick, parents of fallen soldier Darren Fitzpatrick, lay the Silver Cross mothers' Wreath. - Citizen photo

Fitzpatrick was selected to represent all Canadian mothers who have lost a child while serving in the military. Her husband Jim of 32 years will also be at the ceremony.

Tuesday's announcement highlighted her volunteer work in Prince George, sitting as a director on non-profit boards and her 15 years in human resources, most recently as director of human resources at AiMHi - Association for Community Living.

It also noted that Darren received significant blood transfusions at Kandahar hospital and the "incredible medical attention and blood donations" meant he and his family had two final weeks together before he died.

"Since this time Colleen has become an advocate for blood donation working closely with Canadian Blood Services to develop a promotional video and blood donation campaign called 'Remember the Power of Giving' for which she received a national award," the release said.

The Fitzpatricks have created memorial bursaries in Darren's name, which are awarded each year to students seeking careers with the Canadian Armed Forces, it said. In September, the City of Prince George officially opened the Cpl. Darren Fitzpatrick Bravery Park.

Throughout the year Fitzpatrick will perform other duties for the legion, "honouring the fallen from all conflicts."

Correction: A previous version of this story said Darren Fitzpatrick was born in Prince George. He was born in Surrey.

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