I peer outside a moist window today; there is no sun; there is no warmth. It is a dreary day in southern Manitoba with a sky laden with thick clouds and drizzle; a reflection of the heaviness in the hearts of police officers and police chaplains throughout Canada. We weep for the loss of another peacekeeper in British Columbia; a husband, father, brother, friend, neighbor. Our hearts break due to another senseless and cowardly murder of a person in authority who represents justice and peace and what is good in our society.
Police officers are not perfect, we make mistakes, but every man and woman who represents a police service strives to protect that which our society holds in highest esteem - human life. It is gross injustice when peacekeepers are ambushed by persons intent upon eliminating life. Every police officer who has dedicated years of their life to being the force that holds back the chaos and evil deserves to complete their calling and live to enjoy a life after policing. That hope that we all share was extinguished yesterday for RCMP Constable Rick O'Brien, his wife Nicole, and their six children. Our hearts, thoughts and prayers are with Rick's family, the two injured RCMP officers and their families, and all the officers and civilian staff of the Maple Ridge RCMP Detachment.
Tomorrow, police officers and police chaplains from across this nation will be gathering in cities to march and pay our respects to our fallen on the Canadian Police and Peace Officer's Memorial Day. The day for many of us will be exceedingly somber due to the incident yesterday in Coquitlam, BC. I will be joining my acting Deputy Police Chief as we travel from Brandon to join the men and women who gather in Winnipeg for the MACP Police & Peace Officer's Memorial. Tomorrow's forecast of rain is unbidden but appropriate. A special thank you to Winnipeg PS Inspector/Chaplain Helen Peters for your service as the MACP Memorial Coordinator. We are blessed to have Helen as an active member of the Canadian Police Chaplain Association.
On behalf of the CPCA Executive and CPCA police chaplains across Canada, our deepest condolences to the family, friends and peers of RCMP Const. Rick O'Brien, the two wounded RCMP officers and their families, and to the community of Maple Ridge. Our hearts, thoughts and prayers are with you. Our prayers are also with all the police chaplains providing Member Care. Care began yesterday through RCMP "E" Division Chaplain Coordinator Bill Ashbee meeting with the officers' families and peers, and continues through care provided by other RCMP chaplains today and for days to come. Thank you, chaplains, for your service and compassion; our prayers for strength are with you.
With deepest sympathies,
BPS Constable/Chaplain Bruce Ewanyshyn
ICPC Director of Region 1