As I write this the city of Moncton, NB and the nation are getting ready to pay their respects to three fallen RCMP officers. I realize that once this blog is posted the memorial service will be over, but the healing process will only have just begun. Like most Canadians this tragedy has been replaying on my mind. What happened is the worst nightmare of those who have a loved one that is a peace officer. My partner is an RCMP member in rural Saskatchewan and while I do my best not to think of the risks of his job, this tragedy slaps me back to reality. I would like to use this platform to get out some of my thoughts and to help me, and maybe others process what has happened.
To the families of the officers, I would like to offer my deepest condolences. I cannot begin to imagine the grief and pain that you have been through this past week. To the residents of Moncton, not only have you lost three upstanding citizens, but the safety you felt as a community. I imagine most of Moncton’s residents were shocked and horrified that such a tragic even could happen in their community. Unfortunately no community is immune from acts of violence. I would also like to offer my sympathies to the family of the accused. In their own way, they have also lost a son. I hope they have strong supports in their lives as they will need them in the upcoming months.
How could such a tragedy happen? In the past week there have been questions raised about gun registries and mental health. It seems that the accused slipped under the radar as he had not done anything in his past to warrant arrest or being committed, yet his actions were odd enough to make family take notice. While a tragedy like this always raises lots of questions, I don’t think anyone knows the answers and therefor how to prevent something like this from happening again. While there is lots of grief and confusion in Moncton and Canada, there is also lots of hope and encouragement.
The memorial at the Moncton RCMP detachment is both beautiful and gut wrenching. I truly hope it brings some comfort to the families of the officers that they are not alone in their grief. Appreciation has also been felt in police detachments across Canada. At my partners detachment they have received coffee and flowers. He has also had many community members personally thank him for his service. In times of tragedy and grief, the best is truly brought out in people. As Moncton and Canada move forward, I hope that we can remember the kindness and compassion we have shown to one another over these past few days. I want my partner and everyone else’s to come home safe.