Omer Lacroix’s daughter, Lorraine McMurray,
with a photo of the World War Two veteran and a Métis sash.
The late Métis Veteran Omer Lacroix, and his surviving spouse Florence Lacroix were honoured in a Métis Veterans Legacy ceremony held in Penetanguishene, ON on September 9, 2020.
Attending the afternoon ceremony, were Métis Nation of Ontario (MNO) President Margaret Froh, Penetanguishene Mayor Doug Leroux, and friends and family from the local community.
Also in attendance was MNO Veterns’ Council Sergeant-at-Arms Douglas Woods, Lacroix’s son-in-law. Woods spoke at the ceremony acknowledging the sacrifices made, not only by Omer, but by his wife Florence as well.
“We are gathered here today to honour and recognize the Service and Dedication of Métis Veteran Omer Lacroix during the Second World War,” said Woods. “Having been married for only one year, Omer left his wife Florence, and first child Lorraine, who was only ten months old, to join the thousands of Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Canadian men and women in the battle overseas.”
Omer Lacroix stormed Juno Beach on June 6, 1944 and was part of the liberation of France, Belgium and Holland. Tragically, Omer passed in 1990 however, his surviving partner Florence was pleased to attend the ceremony and passed on her thanks and appreciation for all those involved in the Legacy presentation.
“She can’t stop talking about how much it meant to her,” said Woods.
Florence and Omer had four children: Lorraine, Ronald, Roger and Monique. Florence worked for Canada Post for over two decades and has always been active in the community, receiving a Volunteer Award from the Government of Ontario.
At the ceremony, Penetanguishine Mayor Doug Leroux also presented Florence will a special certificate in recognition of her upcoming 99th birthday on September 26, 2020.
In 2019, the Government of Canada issued a formal apology to Indigenous veterans, who were often neglected when returning to civilian life following the Second World War. The apology launched the Métis Veterans Legacy Program that sees veterans, or their surviving spouses, receive a recognition payment of $20,000.
The MNO would like to extend its gratitude to the late Métis Veteran Omer, his wife Florence, and the Lacroix family. His service and sacrifices will not be forgotten.
(above, left to right) MNO President Margaret Froh, Mayor of Penetanguishene Doug Leroux, Lorraine McMurray, Doug Woods, Monique Woods, and Florence Lacroix