A meaningful service took place Wednesday evening at Bethel Bible Chapel in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. Project Blue Light is an annual event which serves to acknowledge fallen officers from across law enforcement agencies in the North East region of Ontario, as well as Michigan, USA.
Now in its 8th year, Project Blue Light brought together families, friends, law enforcement officers and citizens to offer a time of reflection, and give pause to the realities of working in Corrections Canada, Policing on both sides of the Canada/U.S. border, Anishinabek Police Service, Canada Border Services, U.S. Border Services, Ministry of Natural Resources Conservation Officers, Auxiliary and Civilian policing roles.
Presentation of Colours, Sault Ste. Marie Police Honour Guard were piped into the sanctuary by bagpiper and retired Staff Sergeant Sandy Ross. Roll Call of Officers was shared by Constable Fred Brown.
Chief Hugh Stevenson was the featured speaker for the 8th Annual Project Blue Light. He said, “My goal here tonight is to remember those who have passed – those who have impacted our lives – from the loss – especially around Thanksgiving and Christmas – when the loss becomes even more imminent and challenging for us to manage. That we shall never forget the service they have provided our communities. We have an obligation as family and friends and colleagues to think about the current and future. As police leaders we have an obligation to support each other in a difficult environment.”
Chief Stevenson thanked the Michigan law enforcement officers who made the trip across the (St. Mary’s) river to attend the event, and concluded by saying, “We will never forget the service and public safety these fallen officers gave to our communities.”
A moving slide show presentation by Crystal Brown, brought many to tears as they watched the names and faces of loved ones who have passed in the line of duty become present in the sacred space. Even for a fleeting moment, their reflection was a powerful reminder of the heaviness of loss which those left behind carry each and every day.
Darren Linquist gave a musical presentation.
The Last Post was offered by retired CBSA officer, Andy Kozak, followed by ‘Rifle Volley’.
The Policeman’s Prayer was read by Abby MacKnight who is the daughter of Cst. Emilie Coccimiglio and Cst. Chris MacKnight.
During the holiday season, citizens, corporations, businesses are asked to put blue lights in a holiday decoration in windows, over a door – anywhere to show support for law enforcement officers who have given their lives in the line of duty. Additionally, these blue lights will serve as a reminder that there are countless members of law enforcement putting their lives on the line each and every day. Each blue light will shine as a show of support to those who are working to create a safer place for all of us.
The video gallery below offers a window into the 8th Annual Project Blue Light.
Thank you to all the law enforcement agencies personnel who do indeed, put their lives on the line, so that we may all sleep a little better each night. Please consider shining a blue light in your window or over a door this Christmas season. The message will be received.