Thousands braved the rain and cold in Victoria today to pay their respects to Constable Sarah Beckett, the Mountie and mother of two killed on the job last week in a car crash.
She’s the first female RCMP officer to die on duty in B.C.
“It’s unfortunate to see a young life taken so soon.”
Janelle Navaroli was one of many who arrived early at one of the public viewing areas for Constable Sarah Beckett’s regimental funeral.
Navaroli brought her young daughter, saying Beckett’s was a young life taken too soon.
She too, wanted to show her support, “…not only to Constable Beckett and her family, but to the entire police force.”
She is just one of thousands of people consisting of family members, friends, uniformed men and women, their spouses and regular people from across B.C. and even Washington State.
With limited public seating at Colwood’s Q Centre, that meant others waited outside along Island Highway to watch the procession go by before watching the service on the big screen at Westhills Stadium.
Many at the Westhills Stadium viewing area say they have a loved one on a police force, and the loss of one officer is too many.
The stadium was one of two public viewing areas set up for people to accommodate the wave of support being shown for the officer’s family and friends.
One loss too many
Karen Marsh is one of those who braved the weather to pay her respects.
Marsh has a daughter who is an RCMP member, and says the loss of an officer hits close to home.
“I think it’s hard for her too because they are a close knit group and she worked with this officer, and I think it’s hard and that for her to think that there’s two young children…their mother is gone…they’re too young to understand and they’ll have questions, and yes, they’ll have memories of what’s been done.”
Marsh says it’s nice to see the outpouring of support, and that people realize that there are actual people behind a uniform.
“They have a job, yet they have a family to go home to…and this is a tragic loss that she didn’t go home to her family.”
Samantha Grantham says despite the sadness, the community has really pulled together.
“It makes me feel proud. I’m from Langford. I grew up here, so the fact that the community has grown so much and they’re still able to come out and show their support. It makes me feel proud to say that I’m from here.”
Beckett leaves behind her husband Brad and two young sons Lucas, and Emmett.
She died not long after returning to work from maternity leave.
“I feel very sad what happened to her…quite concerned about her kids and husband.”
Mickey Kolesnik was one of hundreds of members of the general public overcome by emotion.
He, like Amanda Saville braved the weather to watch Beckett’s regimental funeral from one of several outdoor viewing areas in the community outside Victoria.
Saville works with Beckett’s sister and says the community support means a lot.
“It’s just really nice to see people here in the rain, supporting such a wonderful person.”