SHAFAQNA (International Shia News Association)- ST. ALBERT, Alta. — The sister of an Alberta Mountie told mourners at his funeral Monday that he would want them to live life the way he did — with joy, passion and with every effort to make the world a better place.
“He would want us to throw ourselves into the things that bring us joy and to do it for him. He would want us to follow our hearts … he certainly did that,” Mona Wynn said in her eulogy before thousands at a recreation centre in St. Albert, Alta.
“David would want us to forgive. He was a peaceful man. He didn’t have the time to even notice a grudge much less hold one.”
Const. David Wynn, 42, died last Wednesday, four days after he and auxiliary Const. Derek Bond were shot during a struggle with a suspected car thief at a casino in St. Albert. He was shot in the head and never regained consciousness before he died.
The shooter, career criminal Shawn Rehn, killed himself hours later.
Wynn’s sister remembered her brother as a person who brought enthusiasm to everything he did be it scuba diving, swimming, fly fishing, spending time with his family or serving his community and country.
“Over the past 10 days, there has been such an outpouring of stories about Dave and obvious love for him from the people that he has touched that I have realized he was far more than I ever imagined,” she said.
“Dave was an ordinary man with an extraordinary capacity to make the world a better place for everyone around him.”
She noted that her brother’s organs and tissue were donated and the family has been told they will help as many as 35 people.
Insp. Kevin Murray of the RCMP called him “the finest example of a front-line police officer.”
The Rankin Family and Paul Brandt both performed songs in Wynn’s memory. Two friends and colleagues from his paramedic days in Bridgewater, N.S., also sang an emotional song about the life of a first responder.
Earlier in the day, the skirl of bagpipes filled the air as a procession of 2,000 police officers, military members and first responders wound its way through the streets of St. Albert.
A riderless horse, a pair of brown boots turned backward in the stirrups, led a black hearse carrying Wynn’s coffin to the funeral service.
The procession included 860 Mounties in their traditional red serge and 450 officers from the municipal police force in nearby Edmonton.
The Mounties came from across Canada and from as far away as Newfoundland and Nunavut. A handful made the trip from Bridgewater.
Hundreds of spectators, who were encouraged to wear red, lined the procession route under sunny skies and unseasonably warm temperatures. Many were holding Canadian flags and one giant flag was strung from the erected ladder of a fire truck.
Thousands of white ribbons were tied to trees and poles along the route.
“We lost an important person in our society and we just wanted to be here to pay our respects,” said Beverly White, who lives about five minutes from the shooting scene and attended the procession with her grandson. “It’s going to be an emotional day.”
Laredo Nault, 14, travelled from Legal, Alta., with a quilt emblazoned with the quote: No greater love than to give one’s life for another.
“It kind of popped up in our minds — an officer gave his life away to protect our country and I think that quote represents it good,” he said.
Wynn is survived by his wife, Shelly and his three sons, Matt, Nathan and Alex.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Alberta Premier Jim Prentice and RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson all attended the service.
Bond, who was shot in the arm and torso, survived the attack, but faces a long recovery.
In Ottawa, the House of Commons held a moment of silence as the procession began.
The flags at the Alberta legislature flew at half-mast from sunrise to sunset.
Mounties were also remembering Wynn at mini-memorials at detachments across the country.