Two days ago the city of Moncton remembered three fallen RCMP officers; Douglas Larche, Dave Ross and Fabrice Gevaudan. Five years ago they were shot and killed protecting the city of Moncton from a crazed gunman. While shootings are common place in many parts of the world, this was the oddest of occurrences for a place like Moncton. I wasn't planning on blogging about the shootings but as I reflected on our experience five years ago being in the lockdown zone where we lived at the time I realized I needed to write.
The RCMP officers that day, without hesitation, walked into danger and they do it everyday to protect the people of the city. Are they perfect? Absolutely not. The same is true of all of us, we are imperfect people living together. As I reflected on what those three officers, the two that were injured and all the rest did for the city that day I realized there is a lesson we can all learn.
They ran into the face of danger and even after realizing the shooter was only out to injure police officers stayed the course and faced the danger. They did not go into that neighbourhood asking what race, language, sexual orientation, income level, religion, or anything else for that matter. They simply responded to an emergency knowing that people were in danger.
So often in the news, especially from the United States, we hear about all the discrimination in the police force and we know this is a very real issue. I think though we forget that there are those who do honour the uniform and serve the people, all of the people fully.
The lesson we need to learn from this tragic event is that we too need to respond to those in need regardless of whether they speak your language, have the same skin colour, share the same sexual orientation, are rich or poor, are muslim or christian...you get the point.
I also realized we don't talk about the sacrifice of the RCMP officers working when the shooter was finally apprehended. I know how protective I can be of my children and when one of them is deeply hurt by someone oh how badly I want the person who did the hurting to suffer terribly. There was incredible sacrifice for those officers to arrest the shooter and bring him in alive to face justice when likely most, if not all of them wanted to dispense their own justice right then and there.
I guess another lesson we can learn is that we should always strive to do the right thing, even when we so intensely want to do what feels good in the moment. The city of Moncton faced a terrible tragedy five years ago but I hope it was not in vain and that we have learned some valuable lessons from the men and women that rushed in to protect us all.