Bricks laid to honour RCMP veterans and their widows at new memorial site

Delegates and RCMP veterans along with their wives lay the first bricks down on the “Pillars of the Force” memorial site at the RCMP Heritage Centre in Regina, Sask., May 23, 2020. Photo courtesy of the RCMP Heritage Centre

Veterans of the RCMP and their wives — who were often referred to as the “second-man” at rural detachments — were honoured in Regina on Saturday for their service.

To commemorate the members, engraved “Pillars of the Force” bricks were placed on the Princess Royal Walk, which a new memorial site located at the RCMP Heritage Centre.

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The first-laid bricks pay tribute to members and employees of the RCMP “who honourably responded to the call of duty, day in and day out”, and those who supported officers.

“We owe a debt of gratitude to the RCMP, the service of members throughout the years from pre-Confederation to today, they serve and protect us each and every day,” said Regina Mayor Michael Fougere, who laid a brick for the RCMP veterans.

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“It’s really important for us as Canadians to understand and celebrate those who protect us.”

The “Pillars of the Force” memorial site is made up of 10,000 bricks. Photo courtesy of the RCMP Heritage Centre

Fougere attended the ceremony along with Chief Cadmus Delorme of the Cowessess First Nation, who laid a brick on behalf of the RCMP Heritage Centre.

“We captured the story and history but we also want to make sure we tell our current and future Canadians how we are so proud of our RCMP here in Canada,” Delorme said.

Lorna Luftlus, a widow and second man, laid the brick for the widows.

“Many started out on one-man detachments, and (the wives) would run everything as if they were on duty,” said Luftlus. “The men were quite often on road patrols and night patrols. So if anything came through, (we’d) be answering phones and all that.”

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Luftlus said it was a good job being the second-man because “you were part of the force.”

“As far as being an RCMP ‘second man’, I enjoyed every minute of it, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything,” Luftlus said. “I feel it’s very rewarding they should even think of widows and have a brick for them. I couldn’t have any more appreciation to anybody than the person who made that happen.”

The “Pillars of the Force” memorial site is not yet open to the public. The official opening date will be announced in the future.

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