Virtual memorial to fallen police officers held in Ottawa
A police officer adjusts her hat before the Canadian Police and Peace Officers Memorial Service on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Sunday, Sept. 30, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
OTTAWA -- The annual Canadian Police and Peace Officers' Memorial Service is being held in Ottawa on Sunday with a much smaller crowd because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The event usually sees thousands of officers from all branches of law enforcement across Canada come to Parliament Hill to pay respects to their colleagues who died in the line of duty, but the pandemic is keeping people away and the ceremony is being held virtually this year.
Despite the change, much of the ceremony will proceed as it always has.
"The morning will start with a solemn reading of the names of officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice, and will include the same familiar elements of previous services," said memorial coordinator S/Sgt. Steve Boucher in a note in August. "The service itself will take place in the Summer Pavilion adjacent the tablets overlooking the bluff onto the Ottawa River. The area is quite small and will only accommodate the small number of people essential to run the service."
Flags around Ottawa will be at half-mast to mark the day.
Two officers are to be honoured at this year's ceremony: Const. Allan Poapst, an RCMP officer who died in a crash on Manitoba's Perimeter Highway in December, and Const. Heidi Stevenson, an RCMP officer from Nova Scotia who was killed in a confrontation with the Portapique mass shooter, Gabriel Wortman, this past April.
You can find a link to a recording of the event, which began at 11 a.m. ET, on the memorial service's website.