Const. Dave Donaldson’s peacekeeping duties in Afghanistan exposed him to the tremendous sacrifices made by Canadian military personnel.
“I was in a very hostile environment and I got to see first-hand the dangers that exist,” said Donaldson, who was among several hundred Service members who attended the Remembrance Day ceremony at police headequarters. “I also had a great grandfather who served in World War II.”
The 31 Division officer recognized those who lost their lives.
“We are standing on the backs of those proud Canadians who paid the ultimate price with their lives for the freedom that we enjoy today,” said Donaldson, who has been a police officer for the last 11 years. “They paved the way for the Canada we live in today.”
During the ceremony the names of the fallen Toronto Police Service members who served in World War I and II were read aloud and two minutes of silence observed. The ceremony was also punctuated by the sounds of the bugle and bagpipes and readings of poems.
Toronto police officers who have served on peacekeeping and training missions, along with war veterans, gathered in the Grenville lobby for this year’s Remembrance Day service, marking the 101st year of the first Armistice on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.
Chief Mark Saunders, Toronto Police Services Board Chair Jim Hart and Toronto Police Military Veterans Association President Dana Gidlow laid wreaths underneath the names of fallen officers.
Retired Staff Sergeant Gord Barrett paid tribute to Frederick Topham by laying a wreath in his honour. Topham was Barrett’s great-great-uncle.
A medical orderly who parachuted with his battalion into a strongly defended area east of the Rhine during World War Two, Topham was a recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry. He died in 1974.