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‘Always a hero’: Thousands honour Const. Shaelyn Yang as she is laid to rest

Click to play video: 'Emotional goodbye for slain RCMP officer Shaelyn Yang at regimental funeral'
Emotional goodbye for slain RCMP officer Shaelyn Yang at regimental funeral
A Stetson hat and Canadian flag that was placed on top of Const. Shaelyn Yang's coffin is collected at her service Wednesday to her family. Yang was laid to rest in a full RCMP regimental funeral – Nov 2, 2022

In a moving and sombre ceremony, steeped in tradition, fallen RCMP Const. Shaelyn Yang was laid to rest Wednesday in a full regimental funeral.

Her body, accompanied by the RCMP Pipe Band, was driven to the Richmond Olympic Oval for the service. Behind the hearse was a riderless horse, with boots facing backwards in the stirrups, to symbolize an officer who has died.

Click to play video: '‘She made us better and stronger’: B.C. RCMP officer Shaelyn Yang laid to rest'
‘She made us better and stronger’: B.C. RCMP officer Shaelyn Yang laid to rest

Thousands of Mounties, dressed in Red Serge, marched behind the hearse during the morning procession, followed by the Vancouver Police Department Pipe Band.

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Police officers from across B.C. joined the morning procession, including from Saanich police, Vancouver police, Abbotsford police and Surrey police, as well as first responders, members of the Canada Border Services Agency, Canadian Armed Forces, and B.C. Sheriff Service, and firefighters from across the Lower Mainland.

Click to play video: 'Young B.C. boy in Red Serge salutes RCMP and first responders marching for Const. Shaelyn Yang'
Young B.C. boy in Red Serge salutes RCMP and first responders marching for Const. Shaelyn Yang

Yang was killed on Oct. 18 while accompanying a parks employee to speak with a man living in a tent in Burnaby’s Broadview Park.

Jongwon Ham was charged with first-degree murder, and appeared in court Wednesday by video. His next court date is Nov. 16.

Click to play video: 'Thousands of RCMP members in Red Serge march in honour of Const. Shaelyn Yang'
Thousands of RCMP members in Red Serge march in honour of Const. Shaelyn Yang

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Yang’s funeral service began with the marching on the guidon, which symbolizes the honour and sacrifice made by all members of the RCMP.

It is usually saluted by all who enter its presence, except when it is paraded at a funeral, where salutes are reserved for the fallen officer.

Click to play video: 'A strong show of support for Const. Shaelyn Yang’s funeral and procession'
A strong show of support for Const. Shaelyn Yang’s funeral and procession

Yang becomes the 247th member of the RCMP killed in the line of duty since 1873. The RCMP’s precursor, the North-West Mounted Police, was founded on May 23, 1873..

Her memorial service had many different components including speeches, music and tributes.

A song chosen by Yang’s family was played by the RCMP E Division Pipe Band.

Click to play video: 'Song played by RCMP E Division Pipe Band played for Const. Shaelyn Yang'
Song played by RCMP E Division Pipe Band played for Const. Shaelyn Yang

“Shaelyn Yang was always a hero,” Ash Tan, cousin and family spokesperson told the audience.

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“Her whole life was dedicated to helping others — from the community she served, to her cousin going through a tough time in their first year of university.

Click to play video: 'Burnaby RCMP slain officer, Const. Shaelyn Yang, is driven to the Richmond Olympic Oval'
Burnaby RCMP slain officer, Const. Shaelyn Yang, is driven to the Richmond Olympic Oval

“All of us, all her family and friends who loved her, and have been so proud of her. We’ve always known this. And now, all of Canada and Taiwan and the whole world can join us in knowing it too.”

Yang had faith she could make the world a better place, despite facing adversity, Tan said.

“But in all the time I knew her, she only ever grew warmer and kinder than before.”

Click to play video: '‘Shaelyn Yang was always a hero’: Fallen RCMP officer’s family pays tribute at her funeral'
‘Shaelyn Yang was always a hero’: Fallen RCMP officer’s family pays tribute at her funeral
Click to play video: 'Const. Shaelyn Yang’s coffin is carried into the Richmond Olympic Oval'
Const. Shaelyn Yang’s coffin is carried into the Richmond Olympic Oval

In a speech, Const. Inder Gill, who worked with Yang, said he could not believe he was standing at a podium talking about her in the past tense.

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“As many of us are aware, training another to become and develop the skills as a police officer is a monumental task,” Gill said. “Fortunately for us, Shaelyn required hardly any training at all. She was kind, compassionate and driven in her duty.”

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Members of the public who wish to send condolences to Yang’s family may do so by email at RCMP.Condolences-Condoleances.GRC@rcmp-grc.gc.ca

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