RCMP National Memorial Ceremony

RCMP National Memorial Ceremony

Dear Members of the Association,

On May 23rd the work of Ottawa Division of the Association in organizing an event in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic came to fruition.

A ceremony to remember those members of the Force who have passed was arranged by the Division and held at the Beechwood Cemetary in Ottawa.

Suzanne Sarault has detailed the event and her comments speak volumes as do the photographs and video that were taken on the day.

The material is provided below.

James Forrest
Director of Communications
RCMP Veterans’ Association

Susanne Sarault

(As delivered – May 23, 2020 – 7:15)

The 147th anniversary of the RCMP
Le 147e anniversaire de la GRC

RCMP National Memorial Cemetery at Beechwood Cimetière commémoratif national de la GRC à Beechwood

May 23, 2020, the one hundred and forty-seventh (147th) anniversary of the RCMP

2020 is not being kind to the world nor to Canada
So far, the year 2020 has brought suffering and pain

The deadly tragedy in Nova Scotia where many lives were lost including our colleague Constable Heidi Stevenson,

The Coronavirus disease Only a few are gathered here today in respect of the public health guidelines
And we have an additional item to our kit to protect one another
The deadly virus has taken the lives of so many including front-line workers
Some of our Veterans or their family members have become seriously ill or have lost their lives to the virus

All are in our prayers today

As we stand beside the National Military Cemetery of Canada

Our hearts are heavy for our military colleagues, their families and all those
affected by the recent tragic incidents

L’année 2020 nous amène jusqu’à maintenant
Souffrance et douleur
La tragédie meurtrière en Nouvelle-Écosse dans laquelle
22 victimes ont perdu la vie dont notre collègue, la gendarme Heidi Stevenson

Ensuite, la maladie à coronavirus à travers le monde; certains de nos vétérans ou
des membres de leur famille sont tombés gravement malades ou ont perdu la vie

Et les récents événements tragiques des Forces armées canadiennes

Nous sommes de tout cœurs avec les victimes, les familles et tous ceux et celles
qui sont affectés par ces évènements tragiques et la pandémie.

The RCMP Veterans’ Association, Ottawa Division, commemorates the one
hundred and forty-seventh (147th) anniversary of the RCMP

We remember all those who served in the RCMP
We also think of those who serve in the RCMP today
And we have special thoughts for all families of serving members and veterans
We stand here to honour their dedication, their courage
And their service to our country

We particularly remember the men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice
since 1873
And whose names are engraved on this cenotaph
And, sadly, another name will soon join this list

Among the 22 victims in Nova Scotia a few weeks ago
our colleague, Constable Heidi Stevenson died in the line of duty protecting and
ensuring the safety of Canadians.

Cst. Stevenson held many different roles throughout her 23 years as an active
member – most notably her time spent representing the RCMP across the continent as part of the Musical Ride.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Cst. Heidi Stevenson and with the families of all the victims.

One life lost is one too many
The loss of life of a police officer is particularly shocking and distressing
That is why we will never forget
That is why we will support one another
That is why we will honour them forever

L’Association des Vétérans de la GRC, division d’Ottawa, souligne le cent
quarante-septième (147e) anniversaire de la GRC

Nous nous souvenons de tous ceux et celles qui ont servi dans la GRC
Nous pensons également à ceux et celles qui servent dans la GRC aujourd’hui
Et nous avons une pensée toute spéciale pour les familles

Nous rendons un hommage particulier aux hommes et aux femmes qui ont fait
le sacrifice ultime depuis 1873.
Et dont les noms sont gravés sur ce cénotaphe
Malheureusement, un autre nom y sera ajouté cette année

Parmi les 22 victimes en Nouvelle-Écosse il y a quelques semaines, notre
collègue, la gendarme Heidi Stevenson est décédée dans l’exercice de ses fonctions en protégeant et en assurant la sécurité des Canadiens et Canadiennes

La gendarme Heidi Stevenson a occupé différentes fonctions tout au long de ses 23 années de service – notamment son service avec le Carrousel de la GRC à représenter la GRC à travers le continent.

Nos pensées et nos prières accompagnent la famille de la gendarme Heidi Stevenson et les familles de toutes les victimes

Merci aux membres de la GRC, à tous les agents de police et à tous les employés pour votre service et votre dévouement.
Que vous soyez guidé par vos convictions d’une communauté meilleure pour nous tous, que vos familles soient honorées pour leur soutien et que vous continuiez à faire preuve de courage et de persévérance pour faire face aux défis quotidiens.

We thank RCMP members, all police officers, and all employees for their service and their dedication. May you be guided by your beliefs of a better community for us all, that your families be honoured for their support and that you maintain the strength, courage and perseverance to face the daily challenges.

Our wishes are for healing, compassion, and peace

We will now proceed with the laying of flowers and wreaths
  1. Roy Berlinquette, the original chair of the RCMP National Memorial Cemetery at Beechwood, will lay a bouquet of tulips for the families.
  2. Le premier président du comité du Cimetière commémoratif national de la GRC ici à Beechwood.
  3. Michel Pelletier, President of the RCMP Veterans’ Association, Ottawa Division and Kevin Mole, current chair of the RCMP National Memorial Cemetery at Beechwood will lay a wreath for the Ottawa Division. Le Président de la Division d’Ottawa de l’Association des Vétérans de la GRC et le président actuel du comité du Cimetière commémoratif national de la GRC à Beechwood
  4. With the RCMP marking the 100th anniversary of the Musical Ride establishing itself in Ottawa this year, Sergeant Major Martin Kohnen is with us today. He is the Riding Master of the Musical Ride and is representing the RCMP. The wreath will be layed by Veteran Christine Windover, one of the first two women who joined the Musical Ride. Christine trained a horse named Kito which happened to become Cst. Stevenson’s horse when she joined the Ride. Dans le cadre du 100e anniversaire de l’établissement du Carrousel à Ottawa, le sergent-major Martin Kohnen, le Maître Écuyer du Carrousel est avec nous aujourd’hui pour la GRC. La couronne sera déposée par la Vétéran Christine Windover, un des deux premières femmes à se joindre au Carrousel. Elle a d’ailleurs entraîné le cheval Kito qui est devenu plus tard le cheval de la gendarme Heidi Stevenson.
  5. For the Beechwood Cemetery Foundation, Mr. James Patterson, Director of Family Services Directeur des Services aux familles
  6. The 2nd Vice-President of the RCMP Veterans’, Ottawa division, Louise Morel, will lay a rose on the stone engraved with the ‘’H’’ Division ensign in honour of Constable Stevenson La 2e vice-présidente de la division d’Ottawa de l’Association des Vétérans de la GRC déposera une rose pour la gendarme Stevenson sur la pierre dont l’insigne de la division ‘’H’’ y est engravée.

As I conclude, my last words today are the motto of the Ottawa Division.

En terminant, voici la devise de la division d’Ottawa.

‘’Maintain the legacy …. Préserver notre héritage’’

Thank you for your participation this morning. Merci de votre participation ce matin.

Merci à vous tous qui nous avez suivi à partir de la maison.

Thank you for all watching from home this morning, We very much appreciate your support.

Bonne journée à tous. Enjoy the rest of the day.

A rose laid on the “H” Division Ensign by Ottawa Division Vice-President, Louise Morel in memory of  Cst. Heidi Stevenson

These are the videos that have been produced from the ceremony.

Please click on the highlighted terms to see the videos.

  • a brief video of the vigil
  • video of the ceremony (which you already have and now on Youtube). Many have seen it on the facebook page of Beechwood Cemetery already.
  • video of the virtual historical tour done by Dave Jeggo, our director of history and by-laws and Nick McCarthy, director of marketing, communications and outreach at Beechwood Cemetery
  • a pamphlet is also produced, this year being online

This year, due to limited participation, we could not have a videographer and our usual Veterans photographers. All was done by our small group with their personal cameras and cell phones. The video was done with the cellphone of the Director of Marketing, Communications and Outreach at Beechwood. When there is a will, there is a way!!

Again this year, all employees of the RCMP were represented (regular members, civilian members and public service employees).

This event started in 2018 to build momentum to 2023, the 150th anniversary of the RCMP.

Due to current context, this year’s version was very much abbreviated.

Normally the program is the following:

This year, approximately 18 minutes, with our small group.

This year, approximately 18 minutes, with our small group.

    1. Lowering of the flags, Raising of the flags – were the same this year
    2. The vigil is usually from 6:00 to 11:00; change sentinels every 30 minutes This year, only 30 minutes 6:00 to 6:30
    3. Historical walking tour from 10:00 to 10:45. We identify 6 members in a section of the cemetery and their story is told by a veteran and personnel at Beechwood. A brochure is also is also produced.
      This year all is online
    4. Ceremony from 11:00 until 11:45 (families, dignitaries, senior officials, international partners, veterans, serving members, etc.
    5. Historical recognition. Last year, we unveiled the plaques of 3 members who were Victoria Cross Recipients. This year we had to postpone the unveiling of a plaque to recognize the many RCMP members who volunteered for the No.1 Provost Company (RCMP) as part of the Canadian 1st Infantry Division. We were to particularly recognize the members who were killed while serving in the Provost Company during that war. Our plan is to do it next year as the Liberation of Holland should be done at a 75+1 commemoration.

It has been a different experience but more than worthwhile than ever in these challenging and difficult times.

And now those who attended.
Also, a particular thank-you to Roy Berlinquette and Don Harrison

L > R                     G > D
Top:  Dave Jeggo, Don Harrison
Middle: Roy Berlinquette, Louise Morel, S/M Martin
Kohnen, Michel Pelletier, Marc Dureau,
Kevin Mole, Charles Armstrong, Christine
Windover, James Patterson, Graham Muir

Bottom:  Same attendees except Kevin Mole has been replaced by
Suzanne Sarault

coucher de soleil
coucher de soleil
On Parade
à la parade
On Parade
à la parade
Dave Jeggo raising the flag
Dave Jeggo lève le drapeau
In Position
En position
Louise Morel
Don Harrison
Charles Armstrong, Graham Muir S/M Martin Kohnen
Christine Windover
Michel Pelletier, Kevin Mole
Sgt.-At-Arms Marc Dureau
Sergent d’armes Marc Dureau
Roy Berlinquette
Suzanne Sarault
The Cenotaph



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