Today, Minister of Community Safety and Correctional Services David Orazietti joined hundreds of officers, their families, and others at the start of this year’s “Run to Remember”, a 460 km relay that makes its way through Ontario’s communities between the Ontario Police Memorial site in Toronto and the National Memorial on Parliament Hill in Ottawa.
“Today’s National Peace Officers’ Memorial Run recognizes the tremendous sacrifice made by our public safety officers and their families to keep Ontario safe, and helps us keep the memory of those brave men and women alive,” said Orazietti. “We are all here today to remind their families, friends and colleagues that they are not forgotten, and to pay tribute to their service.”
Also participating in the event was Don Cherry, who has been named Honorary Chair of the National Peace Officers’ Memorial Run.
The run began in 2005 with just 24 officers from the Peel Regional Police Service. Today, over 300 participants make their way from Toronto to Ottawa over three days in order to pay tribute to those officers who have made the ultimate sacrifice, as well as to raise money for trust funds established in memory of fallen Officers from across Canada. Over $230,000 has been raised to date.
Minister Orazietti’s remarks were as follows:
Good morning everyone.
It’s my pleasure to join you here today for the start of this year’s ‘Run to Remember’.
I’d like to begin by thanking Superintendent Randy Patrick of the Peel Regional Police and your dedicated team of volunteers for organizing this annual event.
Every day, thousands of peace officers and others across our province put themselves at risk in order to keep our communities safe.
Sadly, some of these officers have paid the ultimate price for their service to Ontarians.
Today’s National Peace Officers’ Memorial Run helps us keep the memory of those brave men and women alive. You are here today to remind their families, friends and colleagues that they are not forgotten, and to pay tribute to their service.
It also raises money to support the Canadian Police and Peace Officers’ Memorial and the Ontario Police Memorial, and has provided money for scholarships and other causes that honour the memory of these dedicated peace officers.
Many of you here today know of the Public Safety Officers’ Survivors Scholarship Fund established by the Ontario government almost 20 years ago, and, in 2002, was renamed to commemorate the late Constable Joe MacDonald of the Greater Sudbury Police Service.
It recognizes the tremendous sacrifice made by our public safety officers and their families to keep Ontario safe, and provides scholarship funding to the spouses and children of public safety officers who have died in the line of duty, to assist them in attaining a post-secondary education.
The government has a duty to keep the general public safe, and there is a moral obligation to recognize the sacrifices made by our public safety officers. The continuation of the Constable Joe MacDonald Public Safety Officers’ Survivors Scholarship Fund is a concrete manifestation of that moral obligation.
Today’s ‘Run to Remember’ is a testament to the organizers, participants and sponsors who come together every year to make this event a success.
I commend all the police officers, correctional officers, probation and parole officers and other peace officers, family members and friends who are participating today with such great enthusiasm and respect.
Once again, the ‘Run to Remember’ will culminate in Ottawa at the National Peace Officers’ Memorial Service on Sunday.
I would like to take a moment to thank all of our officers for the tremendous job they do day in and day out to keep Ontarians safe, and often under extremely challenging circumstances.
So on behalf of our government, thank you for all that you do.
I wish all of you good luck, and I would encourage the people of Ontario to come out and cheer you on as the run passes through their communities.