That was the main takeaway for me and, no doubt, many others who watched the regimental funeral on national public television today for two Fredericton municipal police officers who were shot and killed in the line of duty on Aug. 10, along with two civilians.
Constables Sara Burns and Robb Costello raced to the scene of a shooting and were both hit by a lone gunman firing from an apartment building window. Apparently, at least one of them had a hand in wounding the gunman, and preventing more deaths on that Friday morning.
Today, they were remembered as heroes not just for sacrificing their lives that morning, but for answering the greater call that comes with being a police officer.
Indeed, they were heroes when they put on their police uniforms that day, and every day before.
That was another takeaway for me — and others, I’m sure — from the funeral today. The men and women who serve in police forces around the world are heroes. Each day, they are ready to sacrifice their lives for the citizens of the communities they serve. And in a world that seems to be increasingly more violent, the dangers they face in the line of duty are very real.
Police officers too often get a bad rap from the general public, particularly from drivers who have been ticketed. And, yes, there are officers who have brought discredit to their profession. But the vast majority of police officers are guardian angels putting their lives on the line every day — 24/7 — for you and me.
They are among the most noble people on the planet.
At the end of the service today, after colleagues carried their coffins to the waiting hearses, an honour guard of police officers saluted Constables Sara Burns and Robb Costello until the cars were out of sight.
Then came an order:
“Back to service. Do your duty.”
And so it will be.
To all police officers everywhere, thank you for your courage.
Thank you for being so noble.
Rest in peace, Constables Sara Burns and Robb Costello. You have inspired many of us. Thank you.