Council in North Bay is endorsing efforts to see a decorated soldier’s Star of Military Valour upgraded to Canada’s highest honour, the Canadian Victoria Cross.
Councillor Chris Mayne put forward the motion to honour Private Jess Larochelle after receiving a request from local veteran Mike Harrison.
“If successful this will be a historic recognition with Canada’s first Victoria Cross. Historically in previous wars, it’s actually been a presentation of the British Victoria Cross, so this is a significant presentation if it does come to fruition,” he says.
The motion describes Larochelle as a “young hero” who in 2006 “defended his unit’s position in Afghanistan and saved countless lives in the process.”
Councillor Mark King seconded the motion to honour Larochelle.
“He is actually a resident of Callander, Ontario. There is a substantial write-up in the Legion military magazine, it’s about four pages long, it’s actually quite interesting to read what this young individual went through,” he says.
The Governor General’s website says Larochelle was “alone, severely injured, and under sustained enemy fire as he aggressively provided covering fire” allowing the “remainder of the company to defend their battle positions and to successfully fend off the sustained attack of more than 20 insurgents.”
The national campaign to recognize Larochelle with the Canadian Victoria Cross is being led by a large group of veterans known as Valour in the Presence of the Enemy.
Council unanimously supported the motion.