Premier Dalton McGuinty Remembers Fallen Officers
Police chiefs and association presidents.
Members of the police service.
Those who remember Constable Jeffery Armstrong and Constable Frank Hare.
Thank you for joining us, especially to those of you who have come from far away, from across Canada and the U.S.
I'd also like to extend a warm welcome to Commisioner Fantino and all our OPP officers who celebrate the 100th anniversary of that fine organization this year.
It is my great privilege to convey the respect of 13 million Ontarians to this gathering.
To remember the officers who made the ultimate sacrifice.
To thank the Ontario Police Memorial Foundation for their tireless efforts ensuring the stories of all our fallen heroes will live on.
And to thank all our families, friends and officers here today for your extraordinary commitment to the safety and security of our citizens.
Every year, for the past 10 years, we have come together to pay tribute to officers who have fallen in the line of duty.
This year is different.
In 2008, not one officer fell in the line of duty in Ontario.
This is truly a blessing and we are very grateful.
Still, we are reminded that police work comes at a cost.
Today, we will add the names of two officers who fell in years past.
It is right to remember those who went before.
Those who gave so much so we could have so much.
So we honour the service and sacrifice of Ottawa Police Constable Jeffrey Armstrong who died in 1963, a young man of 23.
And Port Dover Police Constable Frank Hare who died in pursuit of a vehicle, in 1951.
Policing has changed a lot over the years.
But, in some ways, it remains exactly the same.
Good policing is built on good men and women.
Men and women devoted to public service.
Men and women of courage and commitment and compassion.
I saw a picture in the paper last week that moved me.
You may have seen it too.
It was a picture of a police officer running out of the woods, holding an abandoned baby in his arms.
This little one-year-old boy had been left outside, in the woods, in the rain, for 12 hours, in five degree weather wearing only a t-shirt and a diaper.
The look on the officer's face said it all.
It was a look that said: I will do everything possible to save this life.
I will do this not only because it is my solemn duty, I will do this because I care.
And he did.
And that child's life was saved.
What is extraordinary about our police is how commonplace such dedication is, such caring is among you.
You listen -- to your instinct to care.
You take action -- when the rest of us would freeze or run from danger.
You are our heroes in life, not death.
And you share that instinct for caring with your families.
Because they're in this with you, every step of the way.
They have the enormous strength it takes to see their loved one go through the door, into a world of real danger.
So, to all our families who support a Mom or a Dad, a brother or a sister, a son or a daughter who is a police officer -- thank you for lifting our police up, for encouraging them, restoring them, sustaining them, loving them.
You, the families of our police, play an important role in keeping our communities safe.
And for that, we are all very grateful.
Finally I'd like to thank you, the men and women, in policing today.
On behalf of the people of Ontario, thank you for working with the same commitment, the same selflessness, the same courage, as the officers whose names are inscribed on this memorial.
Through your dedication and your caring you honour us, every day.
So it is only right that, today, we honour you.