January 18, 2011

Gratitude for those who serve

Today, a wife buried her husband, a son buried his father, a nation buried one of its best. Sergeant Ryan Russell, 35, was killed after being struck by a man driving a stolen snowplough in Toronto. It was an unfortunate, unexpected tragedy that reminded so many of the risks our police officers take every day when they walk on the job.

Today, an estimated 12,000 people showed up to honour this fallen officer, including thousands of his comrades from across North America. RCMP officers, Canadian military, Canadian border services officers, and Canadian and American police officers donned their uniforms and joined the funeral procession for one of their own. As a friend of mine noted on Facebook, there was something both profoundly sad and inspiring about watching this.

Photo: Roger Hallett/The Globe and Mail
Today, my heart and prayers go to Sgt Russell’s wife and son, to his family and friends, and to his colleagues. As someone who has police officers in my family, I cannot begin to fathom the grief they are feeling.

And today, I thank every uniformed public servant, from policy and military to fire fighters and paramedics. For all you do. Thank you.

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