I live within two blocks of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Academy in Regina, Saskatchewan. Every single member of the RCMP has received their training here at the RCMP Depot. The history of this facility and location dates back to the days of the old North West Mounted Police and the Riel Rebellion.
Living in such close proximity to the training academy, it's a routine sight for me to see the raw, short haired recruits jogging their daily quota of kilometers as part of basic training. I own two dogs and we walk twice every day along the banks of Wascana Creek beside the RCMP property. It's been 19 years that I have been waving to these energetic young trainees. Some say hi .. some stop for a moment to pet my dogs .. all give a nod of the head or some other acknowledgement.
On days like today, when Canada mourns the tragic murder of three RCMP officers in New Brunswick, I always feel real sorrow. Seeing and interacting with these young dedicated recruits, i know well what has been lost.
I don't know the names of the three murdered RCMP officers. I don't know if we've ever waved or nodded. But I lost three old neighbors today.