Opinion: Red Monday as Canadians mourn fallen RCMP officer

Canadians from coast to coast showed up at work wearing red on Monday, although the occasion was not as happy as Canada Day.

Canadians from coast to coast showed up at work wearing red on Monday, although the occasion was not as happy as Canada Day.

This day the country came together, not to celebrate, but to show support and solidarity following the tragic loss of life of an Alberta RCMP officer.

Const. David Wynn was shot after a routine licence plate check led to the confrontation. He died four days later in hospital.

Wynn’s service took place in Alberta on Monday, with more than 7,500 in attendance, including Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

The service did the fallen officer honour as the Rankins, Wynn’s favourite band from his home province, performed the song Bells and country musician Paul Brandt performed Amazing Grace.

Prior to the service, thousands of mourners lined the streets for a uniformed procession that left Holy Family Church at noon. A sea of red and blue could be seen from above as RCMP members and fellow officers made their way to Servus Place, where the funeral began at 2 p.m. Law enforcement professionals from across North America also took part in the procession.

The national, and local, support has been inspiring.

A Facebook event was created, encouraging people to wear red to “show that the fallen, wounded, their families, and all members of the RCMP are in our hearts.”

It was created by the spouses of RCMP officers so that even those who could not be in attendance at the service could show support.

More than 72,000 people committed to participating on Facebook in just a matter of days.

Law enforcement tends to be one of the least appreciated professions in our society. Police officers are more likely to get yelled at for issuing a ticket than thanked for keeping their community safe.

Our local detachment, I’m sure, has their fair share of headaches, especially since they are charged with looking after a very long and busy section of Highway 1.

It is unfortunate that it takes a tragedy for people to recognize what a difficult and important job policing is.

Nevertheless, I’m sure Const. Wynn’s family, coworkers, friends, and the entire RCMP are encouraged by what they’re seeing.