Fallen hero Const. John Davidson to be honoured at public memorial
Published Friday, November 17, 2017 1:50PM PST
Last Updated Sunday, November 19, 2017 7:56PM PST
Police forces from across the province and as far away as the U.K. are preparing to honour Const. John Davidson at his funeral procession and celebration of life on Sunday.
The Abbotsford police officer was killed in the line of duty on Nov. 6 when he was wounded in a shooting in Abbotsford and later died in hospital. He's being remembered as a family man, an amazing friend and a hero.
"We are expecting officers from across north America, as well as from Europe. Including Northumbria, where Const. Davidson started his policing career," said Sgt. Judy Bird with the Abbotsford Police Department.
She said they're expecting between 8,000-12,000 people to show up.
B.C. Premier John Horgan will be in attendance, as will Lieutenant Governor Judith Guichon and Attorney General David Eby.
Davidson's procession will also include a riderless horse—a military-style honour that symbolizes a fallen officer that the RCMP use in regimental funerals.
"Any officer who, in the line of duty, dies while serving their serving their country is worthy of being remembered nationally, and forever," said Bird.
Tributes to a fallen hero
Citizens in Abbotsford have already started making tributes to Davidson, and flowers and messages dedicated to him can be seen around the city.
These are some of the tributes to Const. John Davidson that have been erected in #Abbotsford—in advance of his regimental funeral tomorrow. More than 12,000 civilians, service members, and first responders are expected to attend. pic.twitter.com/W2gQ3XV5L2— Sarah MacDonald (@CTVSarah) November 18, 2017
Richmond firefighter Michael Griffin drew a charcoal portrait of Davidson and gifted it to the APD on behalf of the BC Professional Firefighter's Association.
Several landmarks in the Lower Mainland are also being illuminated in blue on Saturday night to honour Davidson. Places set to light up in blue are Vancouver City Hall, the Burrard Bridge, Science World, BC Place, Rogers Arena, the Olympic cauldron in Jack Poole Plaza, Harbour Tower and the Peace Arch border crossing.
Landmarks across the province are illumated in blue tonight—in honour of fallen @AbbyPoliceDept police Constable John Davidson. He'll be laid to rest with a full regimental funeral in #Abbotsford tomorrow. #abbypdstrong pic.twitter.com/9zPWntjp7L— Sarah MacDonald (@CTVSarah) November 19, 2017
The APD started selling blue memorial ribbons for $5 each with proceeds going to the Memorial Ribbon Society. On Saturday, they briefly sold out.
"We have been putting blue ribbons on our police cars. You’ll see blue ribbons on people mailbox posts, or at their doors," Bird said. "We’ve sold about 2,000 in two days."
Community invited to remember
Members of the public are invited to pay their last respects to Const. Davidson by lining the procession route along McCallum Road and King Road.
"We do encourage them to come down early, because roads will be closing at 9 a.m.," Bird said.
Abbotsford police estimate the funeral procession will take about 45 minutes to travel two kilometres from McCallum Road to the Abbotsford Centre arena where the funeral will be held.
The procession will begin at 11:30 a.m. and will proceed southbound on McCallum Road and then eastbound on King Road until it reaches the Abbotsford Centre.
Free parking is available at the University of the Fraser Valley at 33844 King Road and overflow parking is available at Central Heights Church at 1661 McCallum Road.
The funeral service will begin at 1 p.m. at Abbotsford Centre, the public is invited to attend subject to seating availability.
There will also be overflow seating available for members of the public to watch the funeral service via video link at the University of the Fraser Valley Envision Athletic Centre at 1395 McKenzie Road, at Central Heights Church and at Abbotsford Canadian Reformed Church at 33947 King Road.
CTV News Channel will be broadcasting the service and a livestream will also be available online at the CTV Vancouver homepage starting at 11:30 a.m.
Abbotsford police have provided the following map of road closures during the ceremony.