Memorial services for Canadian police and peace officers will take place across the country this weekend.
Maryanne Pope, chair of the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund and widow of Calgary Police Service Const. John Petropoulos, will be at Parliament Hill in Ottawa for services on Sunday, Sept. 29th.
The last Sunday of September is recognized across Canada as Police & Peace Officers’ National Memorial Day. The date allows people to formally recognize the dedication of officers who made the ultimate sacrifice to keep communities safe.
Ottawa services feature the reading of the honour roll, which includes over 870 fallen officers whose names are engraved on tablets at Parliament Hill.
Meanwhile, a ceremony will also take place on the south grounds of the Alberta Legislature in Edmonton on Sunday. Services will include bagpipe and drum performances, speeches, and the laying of wreaths at the base of the Pillar of Strength. Names listed on the pillar, including John Petropoulos, are sworn Alberta peace officers who were killed in the line of duty.
These solemn ceremonies – along with others in provincial capitals across Canada – take place on Sept. 29th, which is the anniversary of the end of watch for Const. John Petropoulos, who died at an unsafe workplace during a break-and-enter call at a Calgary warehouse. John fell through a false ceiling and struck his head on the floor.
After he died of brain injuries, it was determined there was no safety railing to warn John Petropoulos – or anyone else – of the deadly hazard in the warehouse. As a result, his recruit classmates started the John Petropoulos Memorial Fund (JPMF), a non-profit organization that strives to eliminate preventable workplace fatalities and injuries to first responders, including police, firefighters, EMS personnel and tow truck operators. The JPMF educates the public about its role in helping to keep emergency responders safe on the job.