Mr. Speaker, last Thursday in Edmonton I had the honour of announcing the identity of a Canadian soldier whose remains had been discovered in France in 2003.
Through the combined magic of art and science, it was finally determined that the soldier was Private Thomas Lawless, who had made the ultimate sacrifice on the night of June 8, 1917, near Vimy Ridge.
Amazingly, the final clue was the oxygen molecules in his teeth which, through the use of stable isotopes, pinpointed his residential history to three locations in Ireland and Calgary.
Descendants of Private Lawless were at the announcement and the family was excited and grateful for this closure nearly a century after the fact.
Private Lawless is one of 28,000 Canadian soldiers lost without a trace in World War I, World War II and the Korean War, and his identification brings them all just a bit closer to us. They may be gone, but they are never forgotten.
Private Lawless will be buried with full military honours at La Chaudiere Military Cemetery near Vimy Ridge on March 15, alongside his fallen comrades from the Loyal Edmonton Regiment.
May he finally rest in peace.