By David F. Rooney
About 160 townsfolk, many of them showing their solidarity by wearing red, attended Tuesday’s poignant memorial service at the local RCMP detachment to honour the three officers killed by a lone gunman in Moncton on June 4.
“The family and friends of the three officers as well as the people of Moncton need support to deal with it and that is what we offer in our gathering here today,” said Staff Sgt. Kurt Grabinsky.
The detachment commander said the ambushes that killed Constables Fabrice Gevaudan, David Ross and Douglas Larche and resulted in the wounding of Constables Eric Dubois and Marie Goguen scarred that New Brunswick community and sent a shudder through Canadian society.
However, as Mayor David Raven noted in his comments, the healing process that has already begun will not allow the accused killer to claim the notoriety he may crave.
And, certainly, the killer’s name was never mentioned during this ceremony nor during the official service that also occurred in Moncton.
“The heroes of Moncton were ambushed by a man who, like them, will have his name go down in history,” said Const. Gary McLaughlin during a speech at the Revelstoke ceremony. “I for one will not mention his name… because he doesn’t deserve to have it said.
“These police officers did what any police officer would do. They were killed running toward the threat, not away from it as every normal person would. They ran toward the man who ultimately would take their lives because it was the right thing to do. They did it to protect those who could not protect themselves.
“Why? Why would anyone in their right mind do such a thing?
“To us Members the answer is simple. We love the communities we serve. We raise our children in them. We volunteer in them. We become part of the very fabric of them. We also may, unfortunately, die for them. That’s something each and every one of us has accepted from the minute we signed up to become a Member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.”
After McLaughlin’s speech different members read short biographies of the fallen and laid roses in front of the photos erected on a small altar in front of the national, provincial, municipal and RCMP flags.
As Logan Davis played the Last Post on a bugle the assembled crowd shared a minute of silence in honour of the dead, followed by O Canada.
Here are photos of the event, followed by a video of the service, which has been edited for length: