REGINA – When Luc LeBlanc saw his hometown appear in a news headline, he wasn’t prepared for what he read.
“It was stunning really. I was frozen in my tracks. The first thing (I did) was call my mom and dad, sister, grandparents,” said the former Moncton, New Brunswick resident.
With three Mounties dead, two more wounded and family and friends locked in their homes, the crisis kept Leblanc glued to his computer screen.
“It’s tough. On one hand you want to be with your friends and family and know and see that they are fine, when they tell you they are fine,” he explained. “But at the same time, I have three little kids of my own so I think I’d rather have them here then at home in Moncton.”
It is an especially trying time at Depot Division, where all RCMP personnel pass through for training in the infancy of their careers.
Cadets and members paid their respects Thursday in one form of another, including many wearing memorial ribbons.
A moment of silence was also held during the Depot Division’s Sergeant Major’s Parade.
Premier Brad Wall requested that all provincial buildings lower their flags to half mast until sunset on the day of the three officers’ funeral or memorial services.
“There’s a special connection between Saskatchewan people and Mounties all over this country and wherever they are, because we know they spent a pretty important time here while going through training,” Walls added.
Though these signs of support are subtle, they resonate for everyone left copying in wake of a tragedy.
“The people in Moncton are strong and resilient, so I think they’ll bounce back just fine. But for now I can just imagine being in the heart of it, they’re stunned,” LeBlanc said.