While most of us were mesmerized by the early June coverage when three RCMP officers were tragically killed in Moncton, local environment officer Dale Achtymichuk said it was a tremendous honour to be asked to attend the public funeral as part of an Honour Guard on behalf of all Saskatchewan conservation officers.
Kindersley environment officer Ted Glass, right, and fellow Saskatchewan officer Dale Achtymichuk of Wadena in their formal wear at the regimental funeral. (Photo Kevin McBain, courtesy Kindersley Clarion)
Achtymichuk and Ted Glass, an environment officer from Kindersley, were among more than 2500 law enforcement members to honour the fallen officers on June 10.
“The funeral was a roller-coaster of emotion,” said Achtymichuk after he returned from Moncton. “It was indeed a privilege and honour, meeting with many other law enforcement agencies and emergency personnel from across Canada and the United States and marching in support of the fallen officers.”
Achtymichuk and Glass landed in Moncton at 12:30 a.m. on June 9. They later viewed the mass of flowers and mementos left on the RCMP detachment’s front steps and overflowing onto the street, and attended the public viewing held for the fallen officers that afternoon.
“It was very touching as so many of the community of Moncton attended and hugged and cried with the Mounties keeping vigil over the caskets of their comrades,” Glass told the Kindersley Clarion.
The next morning all the law enforcement officers and emergency personnel assembled and marched about three kilometres to where the funeral was being held.
“The funeral was in the coliseum in Moncton,” said Achtymichuk. “The most touching moment for me was after they remove the Canadian flag from the casket and conduct the flag-folding ceremony. An officer then presents the Canadian flag and Stetson to the spouse of each of the fallen members.
“I’m sure there was not a dry eye in the place,” he said, adding that the thought of the event still affects him even now. “That is a visual memory that will stick with me for a long time.”
On June 4, Constables David Ross, Fabrice Georges Gevaudan and James Larche were killed when a 24-year-old Moncton man allegedly opened fire on the officers. Two more officers were wounded.
By Alison Squires