Babies are precious and ought to be cared for.
Constable Jeremy Moore knows this well as the father of a one-year-old child.
The Chief’s Ceremonial Unit member was one of the police officers who carried one of the four small white caskets from a memorial service for abandoned children on February 27 at the Elgin Mills Cemetery led by the non-profit group Abuse Hurts.
Moore, assigned to 41 Division, bore the coffin of Baby London from the Elgin Mills Funeral Home to the hearse and the final resting place.
“Just the thought of a baby being abandoned is profoundly sad,” he said, of the four infants who were found abandoned in London and Toronto. “It meant a lot to me to be given the opportunity to do this.”
A member of the Ceremonial Unit for the last six years, Moore was a pallbearer at Constable John Zivcic’s funeral five years ago. The 22 Division officer died in hospital after being involved in a traffic collision while on duty.
“Attending the memorial for the babies and the funeral of a colleague certainly stand out during my time with the Service,” added Moore, who joined eight years ago.
Babies Grace, Hope, London and Zenora were found dead in London and Toronto. They were buried next to a large monument dedicated to a total of 11 babies abandoned in Ontario, provided by the cemetery, and laid to rest on behalf of Abuse Hurts, a non-profit organization that seeks to reduce abuse through public awareness. Teddy bears and a single bouquet of flowers were placed with their caskets.
Veteran officer Dave Alexander said it was an honour to represent the Service and the Chief’s Ceremonial Unit at the memorial.
“I have an adopted son, so this also means a lot to me,” said Alexander, who has been with the Service for three decades. “These are the kids the system missed and it’s so unfortunate.”
Each year babies die as a result of being abandoned by moms and/or dads whose own trauma, trials or unfortunate circumstances put them in desperate situations.
Through their Huggum’s Hope Memorial Program, Abuse Hurts receive abandoned babies from anywhere in Canada, give them a name and memorialize the babies with a proper service and burial.
Abuse Hurts has been advocating for legislation that would allow a mother in distress to surrender her unharmed newborn at a hospital without fear of being charged with abandonment.
“Every time we have one of these funerals, it is helping us a little more to get the legislation in place,” said Ellen Campbell, Abuse Hurts founder and CEO. “Hopefully, something good will come out of this today.”