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'We don't forget': Saskatchewan recognizes National Police and Peace Officer Memorial Day

Rows upon rows of uniformed officers marched down Albert Street in Regina to recognize National Police and Peace Officer Memorial Day.

The procession was dedicated to all officers in Canada who have fallen in the line of duty.

"It goes without saying when police officers and peace officers get up in the morning or in the evening and go to work, they expect to come home,” retired Staff Sgt. Grant Obst with the Saskatoon Police Service (SPS) told CTV News.

“The reality is that on occasion that doesn’t happen.”

As part of the memorial – each individual who has lost their life while serving in the province is read aloud.

Since 1893, a total of 65 officers have died while serving their communities in Saskatchewan.

“Those names are in this morning or again to ensure that we don’t forget,” Obst said. “That we don’t forget that those 65 people laid down their lives protecting their community and today is the day that we remember.”

The memorial is a tradition with deep roots in the province – beginning almost two decades ago.

However, the mass remembrance was originally proclaimed in 1998 – when the federal government decided the last Sunday of each September would serve as the national memorial.

“We remember and it’s really important that they know that people of our province and our country support what they do [and] support them in doing it,” said environment minister Christine Tell.

Tell is a former member of the Regina Police Service (RPS) and previously served as Minister of Corrections, Policing and Public Safety.

“This is forever,” she added. “And those members that gave their lives many years ago are just as important today as it was when it actually happened.”

The memorial comes just days after RCMP Const. Rick O’Brien was shot and killed in Coquitlam, B.C.

At the national service in Ottawa, 11 names were added to the honour roll from the year previous. They included:

Toronto Police Service Const. Andrew Hong, South Simcoe Police Service constables Devon Northrup and Morgan Russell, RCMP constables Shaelyn Yang and Harvinder Dhami, Ontario Provincial Police Const. Grzegorz Pierzchala, Sgt. Eric Mueller, and Det. Const. Steven Tourangeau, Edmonton Police Service constables Travis Jordan and Brett Ryan, and Sûreté du Québec Sgt. Maureen Breau.

Additionally, two historical names were added which included Canada Customs Officer James Mowat (1913) and RCMP Const. Vernon Genaille (2002).

With files from CTV News Ottawa's Ted Raymond. Top Stories

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