RCMP Veterans' Association (PEI)

2013 Peace Officers' Memorial Service

O'Leary United Church


History of the Memorial Service

The murder of Ottawa rookie Cst. David Kirkwood, on July 11, 1977, launched a response that, today, has become the nationally recognized ceremony honouring police and peace officers killed in the line of duty.  Following Kirkwood’s senseless killing, Ottawa police officers vowed to keep his memory alive and to ensure that the magnitude of his sacrifice, and that of others like him, would never be forgotten by Canadians.

Accordingly, on Sunday, September 24, 1978, a special service and tribute was held.  The site selected was Parliament Hill, the place where laws are made that directly impact on police officer safety and, ultimately, the quality of life for us all.  Following that first ceremony, a number of features have become tradition and, at the same time, some modifications to the event have occurred as well.

The ceremony was expanded to honour other police officers murdered in the line of duty and this criterion of inclusion was itself modified years later to include all officers killed in the line of duty.  This current criterion has been applied retroactively, and names of officers killed in the line of duty, from years gone by, are now being added to the Memorial stone.  The original ceremonies were limited to police and correctional officers killed but that criterion was expanded, in 1995, to include all peace officers so that all areas of law enforcement are now included in one single ceremony.

Police and Peace Officers' National Memorial Day

On September 24, 1998, the Government of Canada officially proclaimed the last Sunday of September of every year as Police and Peace Officers' National Memorial Day.  In announcing the commemorative day on September 27, 1998, the Solicitor general of Canada stated that "A formal, national Memorial Day gives Canadians an opportunity each year to formally express appreciation for the dedication of police and peace officers, who make the ultimate, tragic sacrifice to keep communities safe."

On January 17, 2003 a nation wide half-masting was included in the new half-masting rules.  The Flag will be half-masted on all federal buildings and establishments in Canada, including the Peace Tower, from sunrise to sunset on Police and Peace Officers’ National Memorial Day.

In Prince Edward Island

On Sunday, September 22nd, 2013, the 33rd Annual Peace Officers' Memorial Service was held in O'Leary, PEI for the first time.  Reverend Ewan Moase, United Church Pastor, hosted peace officers from across PEI.  Attached is the Order of Service and Includes the Honour Roll.