June 3, 2015 3:49 pm
Updated: June 3, 2015 5:07 pm

Moncton man builds memorial park bench in honour of fallen RCMP officers

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WATCH: A Moncton man who drove into the line of fire during last June’s shooting is building a memorial in honour of the three RCMP officers killed that day. Shelley Steeves reports.

MONCTON – A Moncton man who drove into the line of fire during last June’s shooting rampage is building a memorial in honour of the three RCMP officers killed that day.

Steph Lemay says he wants people to remember the ultimate sacrifices the officers made in trying to keep the community safe.

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He certainly remembers. It was Constable Doug Larche who turned Lemay away from the line of fire last June.

“He jumped out of his car and forced me to move away from where I was and to turn back,” he said.

Lemay says he had unknowingly driven upon the scene where moments later Larche would be shot and killed.

“When he turned me around I didn’t look back and when I heard the gun shots I didn’t know what happened,” he said.

“But I am thankful that I didn’t see what was happening behind me, I think that I would still be having nightmares.”

As a way of honouring, not just Larche, but the three fallen officers, Lemay is getting a granite park bench engraved in their memory, using money he raised at a community fundraiser last year called “Hilldegard Resurgo”.

Steph Lemay says he wants people to remember the ultimate sacrifices the officers made in trying to keep the community safe.

Steve Fiander/Global News

“I wanted to use the money for something tangible that I could see, that the families could see and I got permission from the families to buy a memorial with the money I raised,” he said.

The names of the three fallen officers are etched into granite stone. A permanent reminder of how the community is coming together to try and overcome a tragic loss.

Terry Gallant from Classic Memorials worked on the project.

“It will take a while I think for people to get back to normal,” he said.

Lemay hopes this bench will offer people a place to sit and find peace. He plans to place it in a community park that’s being built a block away from where the officers were killed.

Jocelyn Cohoon from the City of Moncton says people from the community requested a monument for the park.

“We certainly embrace the idea and thought it was excellent opportunity to incorporate some of the feelings that those people went though and that neighbourhood during the June 4 events,” she said.

“Make it a happy place and add some great green space and play-ability and a common meeting place for the neighbourhood.”

“This is a story for me where a police officer put his life on the line to keep me out of danger and all of the neighbours in this neighbourhood where I grew up to keep them out of danger,” said Lemay.

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