On the last Sunday of September every year, police/peace officers from across North America converge upon Ottawa to pay respects to those who have fallen in the line of duty.
Known as National Police/Peace Officers’ Memorial Day, it is a day filled with camaraderie and memories of good friends and colleagues who have paid the ultimate sacrifice so we Canadians can live in one of the safest countries in the world.
Their names are forever etched on the glass panels erected along the perimeter wall adjacent to the Memorial Pavilion, which now totals 826 fallen officers. The service is a lasting tribute to the sacrifice of those brave men and women.
“They are our heroes, we shall not forget them.”
For the past two years, I have attended this ceremony. With well over 1,000 police officers in attendance it is quite a sight to see.
I was honoured to attend this year in my Red Serge. As I stood in front of the Memorial Wall — specifically at plaque 16, name 20 — it brought back fond memories working with Michael Budey who was killed in March of 1985 near Teslin, B.C. The time has gone by so quickly but I remember the valuable lessons I learned from Michael as if it were yesterday.
The police/peace officers who attend this ceremony each year come with their own memories. It is those memories that keep each police/peace officer well aware of the dangers involved in their chosen profession and to live life to its fullest.
I would personally like to thank each one of them for their service.
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