The primary objective of the National Peace Officers’ Memorial ‘Run to Remember’ is to raise awareness and focus attention on the annual Police and Peace Officers’ Memorial Service. The annual Service is held on the last Sunday of September in Ottawa with the run occurring over a three day period immediately preceding it.
The ‘Run to Remember’ is a 460 km relay that makes it’s way through many communities between the start at the Ontario Police Memorial site in Toronto to the end at the National Memorial on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. Not only does the run raise awareness about the Memorial Service it also gives peace officers and citizens along the route the opportunity to participate in some small way if they are unable to attend the actual Memorial Service.
For the runners that participate in the three day relay it is their way of fulfilling that pledge, that promise, that they will not forget those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in service of their community, their province and indeed their country. The long and sometimes gruelling hours of running allow the participants the opportunity to reflect on the sacrifices of those brave officers whose names are etched on the Memorial Wall in Ottawa and their families who have had to endure the pain of their loss.
Besides raising awareness of the Memorial Service in Ottawa the run’s other objective is to raise funds for the following:
- Trust funds established for the family of officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty
- Donations towards the construction of any Memorial being built in memory of fallen peace officers
- Donations to the Canadian Police and Peace Officers Memorial to assist with the funding of the annual Memorial Service
- Donations to help fund any Provincial Memorial Service established to recognize fallen peace officers in their Province.
The National Peace Officers’ Memorial Run was established in 2005 when the Peel Regional Police running team, The Pacers, decided to raise awareness of the annual Police and Peace Officer’s Memorial Service held annually on Parliament Hill in Ottawa. The running team wanted to create a way of raising awareness of the annual Service and at the same time pay tribute to those officers who have so valiantly given their lives in service of their community.
The runners decided that a three day run from the Ontario Police Memorial in Toronto to the National Memorial in Ottawa would be the best way of achieving this. The 460 km run was planned for the three days preceding the Memorial Service in Ottawa. Funds were also to be raised by the runners through the sale of T-shirts and by collecting donations to be directed towards Trust Funds established in memory of fallen Peace Officers from across the Country.
So on September 22nd, 2005 twenty four members of the Peel Pacers ran the relay style run over the next three days and arrived in Ottawa on Saturday September 24th. The runners then participated in the Memorial Service the next day on Parliament Hill.
This initial ‘Run to Remember’ raised significant awareness of the Memorial Service as it made it’s way through the various communities along the route. It also generated interest and enthusiasm from other peace officers from across the Province. Each year the core group of runners has been joined by numerous other officers and civilians alike who run alongside the core group at various intervals of the route.
The ‘Run to Remember’ has grown considerably since 2005. The core group of runners who participate in the entire three day relay has grown to over 250 while others join in for various portions of the run along the route. Participants now include the survivors - those family members left behind after the loss of a Peace Officer killed in the line of duty. Their presence provides the inspiration for the core group of runners to complete their journey of remembrance
DONATIONS TO DATE
From the funds raised during the annual ‘Run to Remember’ donations have been made to the following recipients:
|Ontario Police Memorial|
|Canadian Peace Officers Memorial|
|Robert Warner Memorial Fund|
|RCMP Mayerthorpe Memorial|
|Trust Funds – 12 Officers|
|The Memorial Ribbon Scholarship Fund|
Total donations to date are: $95,850.00