Saskatchewan

RCMP memorial honours fallen members in Regina

239 members have died on-duty since the force's inception.

239 members have died on-duty since the force's inception

RCMP members march at the Memorial Parade for fallen members Sunday. (Emily Pasiuk/CBC News)

The sun peeked out from behind the clouds near the end of an emotional memorial parade for fallen RCMP members in Regina on Sunday. 

Family members of fallen officers looked on as RCMP members from across the country gathered for the annual event.

"The key element of it all is that we are a family," Assistant Commissioner Jasmin Breton, commanding officer at Depot Division said.

Family members of fallen RCMP members look on as the parade proceeds. (Emily Pasiuk/CBC News)
Saskatchewan's Lieutenant Governor Tom Molloy and RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki attend the RCMP memorial parade Sunday, September 9 in Regina. (Emily Pasiuk/CBC News)

"I would say that, not only our regular members, but our civilian members and our public servants are passionate about the organization," he said. 

This year, Cst. Francis Deschênes (known as Frank) was honoured by having his name added to the Cenotaph, Honour Roll Book and Memorial Wall. Frank died after being struck by a vehicle while helping motorists on the Trans-Canada Highway near Memramcook, New Brunswick, almost a year ago.

The cenotaph honouring fallen RCMP members. (Emily Pasiuk/CBC News)

"This is exactly what he wanted," Savannah Deschênes said of her late husband, who served in the RCMP for 12 years. 

"He was very proud to be a Mountie," she said. 

"He wasn't just putting the uniform on to put it on to go to work. He was putting it on to protect his country."

Members of the public also attended the ceremony. (Emily Pasiuk/CBC News)

Outside of the RCMP, Savannah said Frank was a "regular guy."

"He loved his motorcycle, we loved hiking, camping, spending time with our dog," she said. 

Another unique way Frank is being honoured is by having a colt named after him. Cst. Jennifer Burgoyne, a friend of Frank's and head of the Strathcona County RCMP Mounted Riders Program, said she thinks Frank would be honoured by the gesture. 

Cst. Jennifer Burgoyne, far right, and Savannah Deschênes, wearing the black coat, gather around the colt named in Frank's honour. (Emily Pasiuk/CBC News)

"He lived and breathed the RCMP and these horses, when we take them out into communities, they bring the entire community together. So our hope is that this [colt] will be doing ceremonial duties to represent Frank for many years to come," Burgoyne said. 

Some RCMP members and Savannah Deschênes with Frank. (Emily Pasiuk/CBC News)