Two family members of retired Sergeant William Daniel Pero were presented with the Memorial Cross by Vice-Admiral Bruce Donaldson, Vice-Chief of the Defence Staff, at a ceremony held at the official residence of the Canadian High Commissioner to Singapore on June 3.
The Memorial Cross has been presented since 1919 to loved ones of Canadian Forces members who die while on active duty or whose death is attributable to their service. Veterans of the Korean War may designate up to two recipients of the Memorial Cross if their deaths are determined to be directly caused by their service in a Special Duty Area.
"I am proud to honour the family of a soldier who offered 20 years of valorous and dedicated service to his country," Vice-Adm. Donaldson stated. "With more than 3,900 Canadian Forces personnel deployed on international operations today, it is essential for us to recognize the personal sacrifices of those who have stood by their loved ones as they fight to protect and preserve Canadian values."
Vice-Adm. Donaldson presented the crosses to Sergeant Pero's widow, Ellen, and his niece, Veronica Tay. Mrs. Ellen Pero described her husband as "a proud man to have served his country.
"The ceremony underpins the value the country places on those who have lost their lives in the service of the nation," she added. "He braved many battles, not only in the wars but in his health as a result of the wars. I am grateful for the many people who have made this tribute to my late husband possible."
Sergeant Pero was a resident of Goderich until his death in July 2010 at the age of 84. Born in Brockville, Ontario, he was 16 when he enlisted with the Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa. Sergeant Pero returned to Canada to complete his education following the end of the Second World War, but later re-enlisted to serve in Korea, this time with the Royal Canadian Regiment.
By the end of his career with the Regular and Reserve Forces, Sergeant Pero had been awarded seven medals, including the Military Medal, which he earned for "conduct during a heavy enemy attack in Korea (that) was an example of steadfastness, courage and ability beyond that which ordinarily would be expected of a soldier of his rank and experience."