Respect for dead protectors

Posted on June 20, 2014
Filed Under Commentary, Uncategorized | Leave a Comment

When the three Mounties, Constables Fabrice Georges Gévaudan, Douglas James Larche and Dave Joseph Ross were assassinated in Moncton, I was already immersed in strong feelings about how precious life is and how many lives it cost for us to have the society we do. The 70th anniversary of D-Day was a horrifying reminder of the price paid by so many people who should have had the best years of their lives ahead.
Then I read a comment by Miramichier Gary Silliker, a man with an amazing history of Canadian military service in many of the world’s tragic trouble spots and still active. He told of arriving back in Canada from a posting and encountering an RCMP vehicle on the road. He said he was overcome with emotional gratitude to be Canadian in a country where the police serve and protect the citizens unlike in so many parts of the world.
To see Canada’s reaction to the deaths of the three Mounties and our grief for their wives, children and families and Const. Ross’s dog, Danny, demonstrated what a strong, loving family we Canadians are. To see the sea of RCMP, other police forces and emergency services at the funerals was overwhelming. If I had been asked how many RCMP members Canada had, I would have guessed far fewer than just the number of them who attended the funerals.
A teacher friend in Beijing, China posted a photo of the many Canadian teachers assembled in their red shirts to pay their respects. That seemed particularly apropos. Everywhere around the Miramichi yesterday people were wearing red shirts.
It would not be honest to pretend that all police and soldiers are heroes and saints. We know better. However, on average, they rank very high among the population and even the most callous among them put their lives on the line against those who would do us harm.
While I have no criticism whatever to levy of the national honour paid to and grief shown for Constables Ross, Larche and Gévaudan, I am trying to think why we paid so much more attention to them than to all our servicemen and women who died in Afghanistan. I wonder if their families think we valued them less than our Mounties. I am quite confident we do not and hope their families know that.
As so often happens when there is a serious national hurt, I am overwhelmed with the quality of commentary by civilians who are not professional commentators.
The fact remains, however, that today we go on with our feelings for our protectors and our Canadian identity and patriotism even stronger but Constables Larche, Ross and Gévaudan do not. Unlike in a movie, they are still dead. The show is over and their wives are widows. Their children, one not yet born, are orphans. Their families are without beloved sons and brothers forever.
I lost a close friend to a car accident when we were both young men. He was so enthusiastic about life and sports and ideas that I still think of him often when something like Canada winning Olympic hockey gold happens. He’s been dead over 50 years now. He missed so much.
Our protectors paid so much for us. They will miss so much. I hope we all pay them the true respect of vowing to always try to become better people and better citizens and to be vigilant to preserve the rights and freedoms they died for. DAC


Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.