Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A city mourns

Today in Toronto is the funeral for a police officer who lost his life in the line of duty.  I normally don't blog about news items, but I'm making an exception.  Sgt. Ryan Russell was the first police officer to die in the line of duty in Toronto in almost a decade.  At 35 years old, his death leaves behind his wife and his two year old son.  As the mother of a 23 month old, I feel for the woman who is left to raise her son alone, and for the son who will grow up without his father. 

Watching the funeral on television, I'm heartened but not surprised to see the enormous outpouring of support.  The convention centre downtown will be packed with mourners and supporters from across Canada.  The procession of officers and fire service workers from every part of the nation has shut down streets in the downtown core and the sight of so many marching in acknowledgment of the ultimate sacrifice is quite moving.  The funeral home where the viewing took place over the weekend saw people lining up for hours in the freezing cold for the chance to pay their respects.   

Hopefully in the years to come, Sgt. Russell's wife and son will be able to draw strength from the knowledge that his sacrifice was appreciated and mourned not just across this city, but throughout the nation.  We often take for granted the work of those on the front lines everyday, particularly in a city that loses so few of them.  Today is a day to remember, to mourn and to say thank you.

1 comment :

  1. Wonderful post - 10years is definitely something - I'm so sorry for his family. Often times I think we take for granted what these families offer up in exchange for protecting us.

    stopping by via blog dare.