Saskatchewan peace officers are quietly paying tribute to their fallen counterparts this weekend.
They’re cycling through different communities in the province as the Police memorial ‘Ride to Remember‘ continues through Saskatchewan. The aim is to finish the journey Saturday afternoon in Regina. A ceremony will take place Sunday at the Saskatchewan Legislature.
It’s a cycling journey for officers, held to honour their fallen friends and colleagues.
Saskatoon Police Sergeant Patrick Barbar says he’s taken the ride several times before. He says it’s always emotional, yet gratifying to take the two-wheel journey into Regina.
“The actual arrival on Saturday afternoon in Regina — it’s something else,” Sergeant Barbar told 620 CKRM News. “Because we’re riding through an urban area and we have a full complement of motorcycles escorting us and keeping us safe throughout the ride.”
Barbar says it can be a tough journey – weather is usually the biggest factor. But he says it’s all worth it, when the cyclists arrive in the Queen City.
“As we arrive in the city itself, we’re riding down Albert Street,” Sergeant Barbar said. “Regina Police come and assist us. They basically form what’s called a ‘rolling roadblock’. I mean, there’s a sense of personal pride. There is a sense of professional pride. It’s actually very overwhelming.”
Sunday will be an emotional day for police across the province as officers gather for a Remembrance ceremony at the Saskatchewan Legislature.
Sergeant Barbar says the ceremony to be held at the Legislature is emotional – especially when the names of fallen officers are read aloud. But he says having the public support is reassuring.
“When members of the public come out, as you’re marching down the street, you take the occasional glimpse off to the sidewalk,” Sergeant Barbar said. “And you see throngs of citizens. I have to tell you, I get choked up every time. The public support in this province – and in western Canada, is just phenomenal.”
The National Police and Peace Officers Memorial Day was established in 1998. The National ceremony is held on the last Sunday in September of every year in Ottawa.
The cyclists are expected in Regina around 5:00pm Saturday. The ceremony on Sunday begins at 10:30 when a parade of officers moves from the Royal Saskatchewan Museum to the Legislature.
There will be a remembrance ceremony starting at 11:00