Thousands pay tribute to killed Mountie at regimental funeral
Published Tuesday, April 12, 2016 8:23AM PDT
Last Updated Tuesday, April 12, 2016 8:07PM PDT
A sombre crowd of thousands gathered to pay tribute to fallen RCMP Const. Sarah Beckett at a heart-wrenching service on Vancouver Island Tuesday.
Beckett, who was tragically killed in a car crash one week earlier, was remembered at the regimental funeral as a warm, caring person who was dedicated to both her job and her family, especially her two young boys.
“Your mommy loved you guys more than anyone or anything,” said Beckett’s godfather Jack Hayden, who spoke on behalf of the family.
“If there was any way that she could be with you here right now, she would.”
The 11-year RCMP veteran was on duty when a pickup truck T-boned her police cruiser in the early morning hours of April 5.
She was 32.
At her service, Hayden also read an emotional message to Beckett from her husband, Brad.
“You warned me this day may come when we first met each other, but I was not prepared for it,” it said.
“I want you to know that even if I would have known that this was going to happen when we first met, I would still take this journey 1,000 times over with you.”
Beckett was remembered for her sense of humour, and by her nickname “Backup Beckett,” which she earned by accidentally backing her cruiser into a fire truck.
‘The archetypal modern Mountie’
The funeral, held in the Victoria suburb of Colwood, was attended by hundreds of first responders and uniformed Mounties, who created a sea of red in the crowd.
Police officers from other agencies, some of whom had travelled from across North America, also paid last respects.
RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson spoke at the service, applauding Becket for her dedication to the force and the energy and skill she brought to the job.
“She was, in short, the archetypal modern Mountie. We will miss her for it,” Paulson said.
Beckett’s funeral was preceded by a processional down Island Highway, where bystanders lined up for hours to watch police and first responders march to the service.
The hearse was escorted by dozens of Mounties wearing full red surge.
How to donate
Donations have poured in on a GoFundMe page set up to help support Beckett’s family.
The campaign shattered its goal of $5,000 and has raised more than $82,000 since it was established last week. The campaign will continue until Monday, April 18.
The Victoria division of the RCMP Veterans’ Association has also established a trust account under the name "Sarah Beckett Family in Trust."
The account is set up at Coast Capital Savings, and donations may be made at any branch across the Lower Mainland or Vancouver Island.
Those wanting to send condolences for the Beckett family are encouraged to email them to RCMP.Condolences-Condoleances.GRC@rcmp-grc.ca.
A sea of red leads the procession ahead of Const Sarah Beckett's funeral pic.twitter.com/tQwC8rwy3Q— CTV Bhinder Sajan (@BhinderSajan) April 12, 2016
Vancouver police taking part as well. Seeing many different uniforms. Hundreds of officers paying tribute today. pic.twitter.com/FmicNTXIkB— CTV Bhinder Sajan (@BhinderSajan) April 12, 2016
Outside the Q centre in Colwood. Preparations underway for Const Sarah Beckett's funeral. pic.twitter.com/LEtSmKcuej— CTV Bhinder Sajan (@BhinderSajan) April 12, 2016