Yesterday, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police held its National Memorial Service at the RCMP Academy, "Depot" Division, in Regina, Saskatchewan.
In keeping with a tradition that began in the mid-1930s, RCMP members from across Canada gathered on Sleigh Square to honour their comrades who lost their lives in the line of duty. The ceremony included a memorial parade, the laying of three wreaths at the RCMP Cenotaph, the reading of the names of the fallen, bagpipe laments, bugle calls, two minutes of silence, and a Chapel Service.
This year, the name of Constable Francis Bertrand Deschênes was added to the RCMP Cenotaph, Honour Roll Book and Memorial Wall, bringing the total number of fallen members to 239 since the creation of the North-West Mounted Police in 1873.
Constable Deschênes is also being added to the online RCMP Honour Roll and to the Canadian Virtual War Memorial with the following information:
Constable Francis Bertrand Deschênes
Honour Roll number 239
Regimental number 51654
Served: November 8, 2004 to September 12, 2017
Description: Died when struck by a vehicle while assisting motorists on the Trans-Canada Highway on September 12, 2017 near Memramcook, New Brunswick.
The RCMP National Memorial Service – an annual event held the second Sunday of September – was attended by close to 1,000 people this year, including family and friends of fallen RCMP members, RCMP members, veterans, cadets and members of the U.S Customs and Border Protection and Montana Highway Patrol.
Dignitaries in attendance included His Honour the Honourable W. Thomas Mollow, O.C., S.O.M., Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan, and Mr. Greg Lawrence, Saskatchewan Military Liaison and MLA for Moose Jaw Wakamow. They were hosted by RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki and Assistant Commissioner Jasmin Breton, Commanding Officer of "Depot" Division.
"On this second Sunday of September, we paused to grieve, to remember and to celebrate the lives and achievements of those we have lost, those who remain with us in spirit," said Commissioner Lucki. "I want to take a moment to thank each and every person, past and present, who stands up for peace and the safety we enjoy every single day. Thank you for selflessly putting yourself in harm's way and risking everything for your fellow citizens."