My opinion is clear in the Thread Title.
Who pays for the more than 12,000 police and firefighters who assembled in Toronto on Tuesday for the funeral of Sergeant Ryan Russell, a stranger to nearly all of them? Would the same attention be given if it had been a garbageman who slipped in front of the stolen snowplow? Or a snowplow driver? Or an ordinary citizen?
Bill Corfield, London, Ont
Re: Costly Mourning Of A Fallen Officer, letter to the editor, Jan. 19.
In his heartless letter to the editor, Bill Corfield asks: “Who pays for the more than 1,200 police and firefighters to attend” the funeral for Sergeant Ryan Russell on Tuesday.
Allow me to answer. In terms of dollars and cents, police officers, firefighters and medics pay their own way, accommodations, meals and other expenses, which pours a lot of money into the local economy. As for the more important cost, we all pay. Citizens pay by losing a fine police officer, colleagues lose a good friend and brother in arms, a mother and father lose a beloved son, a sister loses a brother, a courageous wife loses her best friend and soul mate, and perhaps most tragically, a beautiful little boy loses his Daddy.
That, Mr. Corfield, is the true cost of this tragedy
Eric Macmillan, Toronto firefighter, Toronto.
While I cannot explain to letter-writer Bill Corfield the bond or sense of duty among police officers that would see us fly hundreds of kilometres for the funeral of a fallen colleague (despite him being a stranger), allow me to reassure Mr. Corfield that in all the funerals I have attended, I have done so at my own cost. I imagine it was the same for those of us that attended the funeral of Sergeant Ryan Russell.
B.W. London, Richmond, B.C.
Ordinary citizens realize that police officers put themselves in harm’s way to protect us. They are not paid large sums of money and they routinely do not get the respect they deserve.
At the very least, when one of these officers dies in the line of duty, we should all mourn. A large and well-attended funeral is the least that the public can do, plus it helps show how important these men and women really are.
Bill Waddell, Mississauga, Ont.
All would agree that police work, integral to a civilized society, can be dangerous and should be highly valued and respected. However, the death of an officer is not a national tragedy, and does not warrant such a grandiose display of pomp, ceremony and pseudogrief as that evident in Toronto on Tuesday.
State funerals should be reserved for statesmen.Morton Doran, Fairmont, B.C.Policing is hardly the only profession whose members are at risk. Officers are neither saints nor heroes. Such a display of solidarity among legions of police, rather than engendering respect in the population, is more likely to foster disdain for an organization that appears self-serving, elitist and focused on self-aggrandizement.
State funerals should be reserved for statesmen.
Morton Doran, Fairmont, B.C.
Police funerals are now completely over the top and seem to be more about a universe of lawmen projecting an image — the individual’s death and the family’s mourning seem almost secondary.
Recently in Tofino, B.C., we had the peculiar spectacle of a funeral having more officials than the population of the town. The deceased, in this case, were ambulance technicians killed in an accident, but most of the attendees seem to have been police officers, some from the United States.
The funeral appeared to be about union solidarity as much as anything.
Simon Twist, Victoria.