The deaths last week of three RCMP officers in Moncton, New Brunswick have resulted in a very public outpouring of grief across Canada. The three who were shot fatally and the two who were wounded are five Mounties whose names join a roster of those who have served to ensure that their communities continue to be kept safe from the dangers that continue to lurk in 21st century Canada. The deaths of the three Mounties remind us that life is all too fragile, and many of us are often spent tied up in what really does not matter so much at the end of the day.
Constable David Ross was a father of one and expecting another beautiful baby with his wife in the fall. Not only did this 32-year-old officer serve the Moncton community, he was partner to Danny, his canine officer, who was in attendance at the funeral at Moncton Coliseum. Reports indicate that Ross ran out the door as soon as he heard reports of the shooting last Wednesday evening, leaving the garage door open and the barbecue lid up. He would not return from that trip, but his devotion to his duty and to his fellow Mounties can not be questioned. This young constable should be helping his wife celebrate the arrival of their second child in the coming months, and today, he is honored with his colleagues at a regimental funeral.
Constable Douglas Larche was honored by his brother Daniel at the funeral, and Daniel, a member of the Royal Canadian Navy, said he had never dreamed of a time where he’d be giving his little brother’s eulogy. He spoke fondly of the family man, who had recently celebrated his 12th wedding anniversary with his wife and three children. By all accounts, Douglas Larche was a man who should still be proudly wearing the Mountie uniform and attending his daughters’ dance recitals, but he is not, and all his family has are pictures and memories. Larche was 40.
Constable Fabrice Georges Gevaudan was the eldest of the three Mounties at 45 and a member of the Moncton detachment’s diving unit. He was thoroughly fit, an accomplished marathoner and diver and had recently returned from sick leave following a head wound. He leaves behind a wife and stepdaughter.
In remembering these fallen Mounties, we need to remember how lucky we all are to live the life we choose. It is because of officers like Larche, Gevaudan and Ross – and wounded members Constable Darlene Goguen and Constable Eric Dubois – that Canadians across the globe are able to live as freely as we do. Unfortunately, life is not as predictable as we might like, and it is a limited time. This is simply reality – it is not a caution about how carefully we should live our lives. Life is meant to be savored, and by all reports, the three RCMP officers who were killed did exactly that. It is up to us to honor their legacy of dedication to family and to community as best we can – by living a life that is truly lived. Life may be a fragile thing, but if there is anything that these Mounties have taught us, it is that we need to honor our lives and those we choose to have in it by living as freely and as best we can.
By Christina St-Jean