The death of Sgt. Ryan Russell
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The recent death of Toronto Police Sergeant Ryan Russell last week not only rocked the 'police family' across Ontario and throughout Canada and the United States, but touched the lives of many.
Officers salute as the hearse carrying Sgt. Ryan Russell passes by
One of the largest turn-outs in Toronto, if not Canadian, history by Police, Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Fire and Emergency Service personnel and Canada's Armed Forces, at Russell's funeral on Tuesday, demonstrated the solidarity that these men and women feel as a community and as a family as they marched past 52 Division station out of which Russell worked.
Mounted police unit lead the procession
Saugeen Shores' Police Chief Dan Rivett and officers, Doug Lein, Andy Evans, Kevin Andrews, Ian Clark and Ken Cook all attended the funeral on Tuesday as several others throughout Grey and Bruce counties.
A sea of blue as the men and women of police services line University Avenue in Toronto
A young family man, Russell's death has resulted in a sense of understanding of those men and women in uniform who protect their communities every day. Russell came from a police family, whose own father was also a Toronto policeman, and so he knew first-hand the perils that men and women in uniform face each day.
Whether it's a large city or a smaller rural community, each of them never knows when they don their uniforms and walk out the door each day, if they will return.
Those who take the oath to serve and protect are often under-appreciated but a tragedy like this brings home, in some small way, the way that they put their lives on the line every day.
My uncle was also a policeman who walked the beat and who, eventually, ended his career as a detective and whose specialty was on the bomb dismantling squad. He retired after many years of service and is gone now, but I can only now imagine how he and my aunt must have felt each day or night as he left for work.
We all should appreciate these men and women who, every day, put on a uniform and answer the call to duty to keep their communities and we who live in them, safe.
When I start my tour of duty God,
Wherever crime may be,
as I walk the darkened streets alone,
Let me be close to thee.
Please give me understanding with both the young and old.
Let me listen with attention until their story's told.
Let me never make a judgment in a rash or callous way,
but let me hold my patience let each man have his say.
Lord if some dark and dreary night,
I must give my life,
Lord, with your everlasting love
protect my children and my wife.
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Tuesday, January 18, 2011