Canadians wear red, hold moment of silence, in honour of RCMP officer and lives lost in Nova Scotia
HALIFAX -- The National Police Federation, along with RCMP, asked Canadians to wear red on Friday as a sign of respect for the 22 innocent lives lost during the deadly shooting in Nova Scotia this past weekend.
Twenty-thousand members of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police across Canada paid their respects to Const. Heidi Stevenson, a 23-year veteran of the RCMP, who was killed this past weekend while trying to stop a mass murderer in Nova Scotia.
During the 12-hour rampage, the shooter also injured Const. Chad Morrison, an 11-year veteran of the RCMP, who is now recovering at home with family.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the RCMP will not be able to hold a regimental funeral for Stevenson. Instead, the National Police Force asked Canadians to mourn for Nova Scotia together on Friday.
“These are unusual times, as physical-distancing and restrictions on gatherings make it harder to gather together and mourn as a nation,” said Brian Sauvé, president of the National Police Federation.
“In better times, we would be able to come together in great numbers to show our appreciation, and so we hope by wearing red together on Friday we can mourn these senseless losses and show all the families that we care.”
In a Facebook post on Wednesday, the National Police Federation said this is one small way for Canadians to show their respect and appreciation for the innocent lives taken during the mass shooting.
“This was an unimaginably tragic event that underscores the very real risk that our RCMP face when they go to work every day to protect our communities,” said Sauvé.
“Our hope is that this small gesture will help unite Canadians in a show of support for the RCMP and the families of all the victims of this tragic event.”
Along with wearing red, the federation also asked Canadians to pause for a moment of silence at 2 p.m., for two minutes, Friday.
Anyone who shares a message of support online is encouraged to use the hashtag #WearRedFriday.
The deadly mass shooting spanned over five Nova Scotia communities, with 16 crime scenes being investigated by police so far.
A Facebook post by the Nova Scotia RCMP, posted on Thursday, reads: “On April 19, Nova Scotia RCMP lost a hero. Const. Heidi Stevenson was killed while protecting others during an active shooter incident.”
The Facebook post goes on to say, “Heidi graduated from Depot, the RCMP Training Academy, on February 2, 1996. She spent most of her career in Dartmouth, Cole Harbour, Halifax County, Halifax District and Enfield, Nova Scotia. She also served three years with the Musical Ride. Const. Stevenson was loved by many in the communities she served. The flowers being delivered to detachments and vigils being planned across the country are testimonies to the many lives she touched locally, nationally and internationally.”
RCMP announced they're preparing a photo gallery on their social media accounts and would like the public to send in their pictures of people wearing red.