Sunday, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police held its National Memorial Service at the RCMP Academy, Depot Division, in Regina.
In keeping with a tradition that began in 1935, RCMP members from across Canada gathered on Sleigh Square to honour their comrades who lost their lives in the line of duty. The ceremony included a memorial parade, the laying of three wreaths at the RCMP Cenotaph, the reading of the names of the fallen, bagpipe laments, bugle calls, a moment of silence and a service at the RCMP Chapel.
This year, four names were added to the RCMP Cenotaph, Honour Roll Book and Memorial Wall, bringing the total number of fallen members to 243 since the creation of the North-West Mounted Police in 1873.
Sergeant Donald Forbes
Honour Roll #240
Regimental no. 4800
Served: Nov. 23, 1908, to July 17, 1920
Died after being thrown from his horse in Battleford.
Constable Leo Tyler Francis
Honour Roll #241
Regimental no. 43040
Served: Oct. 16, 1987 to July 5, 1996
Died from injuries sustained when he was accidentally crushed between a police car and RCMP motor home, in Oromocto, N.B.
Constable Gerald Fortis
Honour Roll #242
Regimental no. 42007
Served: April 30, 1990, to Dec. 25, 1997
Died when he lost control of his police car due to icy road conditions, striking a concrete pillar, near Chilliwack, B.C.
Superintendent Dennis Edward Massey
Honour Roll #243
Regimental no. O.1540
Served: Sept. 22, 1969, to Dec. 18, 2002
Died from injuries sustained when a tanker truck hit his police car in Calgary, Alta.
The RCMP National Memorial Service – an annual event held the second Sunday of September – was attended by close to 1,000 people, including family and friends of fallen RCMP members, RCMP members, veterans and cadets.
Dignitaries in attendance included His Honour the Honourable Russ Mirasty, Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan, and the Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Affairs and Emergency Preparedness. They were hosted by RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki and Assistant Commissioner Jasmin Breton, Commanding Officer of Depot Division.
“We build close relationships with our brothers and sisters across the country and internationally,” said A/Commr. Breton. “These are the people we work with, lean on for support and trust to help us out when the going gets tough. This sense of comradery is especially difficult when we lose one of our own. This is a time of mourning, but also a time to pay tribute to the memory of our fallen heroes.”