Department of National Defence

Department of National Defence

May 19, 2006 18:03 ET

Memorial Cross to be Awarded to Husband of Captain Goddard

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - May 19, 2006) - The Honourable Gordon O'Connor, Minister of National Defence, today announced that the Memorial Cross would be awarded to Mr Jason Beam, the husband of Captain Nichola Goddard.

"It is my privilege to confirm today that the Government of Canada will grant this award to Captain Goddard's husband," Minister O'Connor said. "The Memorial Cross is Canada's way of showing our profound gratitude to the loved ones of those who die in the defence of this country. It is only right that Mr Beam also be honoured as the spouse of a Canadian hero."

Traditionally the Memorial Cross, a token of loss and sacrifice given by a grateful Government of Canada, is presented only to the mothers and widows of those killed in action.

Minister O'Connor also announced a general review of policy regarding how the medal is issued.

"Obviously, Canadian society has changed since the Cross was instituted in 1919. We will be examining how to modernize the criteria outlining who is eligible for this great honour," he said.

Captain Goddard was killed Wednesday west of Kandahar while engaged in an operation supporting Afghan authorities. In addition to her husband, Captain Goddard's mother, Mrs Sally Goddard, will also receive the Memorial Cross.

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