'Remember, Honour, Love, Respect and Recognize'
Each year, the ceremony begins with the Massed Pipes and Drums of Alberta leading the marching law enforcement officers to the South Grounds of the Alberta Legislature. A number of dignitaries address the families, friends and public, followed by the reading of the fallen officers’ names. Family members of the fallen officers are then joined by various police, peace officer and provincial and federal government representatives in laying wreaths at the base of the Pillar of Strength.
The Provincial Police and Peace Officers’ Memorial Day was proclaimed by the Government of Alberta in 1999. It takes place on the last Sunday of every September coinciding with the Canadian Police and Peace Officers’ Memorial Day ceremony in Ottawa. The first Alberta Police and Peace Officers’ Memorial Day ceremony took place on Sunday, September 26, 1999.
On July 18, 2006 a permanent monument, “The Pillar of Strength”, was unveiled on the South Grounds of the Alberta Legislature. This permanent monument serves as a poignant symbol of Alberta’s commitment to the police and peace officer community and also provides the families of the fallen officers with the formal and enduring recognition they seek for the ultimate sacrifices made by these officers. The Pillar of Strength is a place to commemorate these law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty since 1876.
- The deceased must have been a sworn peace officer in Alberta and died as a result of an external influence.
- The deceased must have been on duty at the time of death, or if off duty, acting in the capacity of a peace officer or the circumstances leading to the death must have been brought about because of the officer’s official status.
- The deceased officer must have acted in good faith in doing everything that could have been reasonably expected.
- Notwithstanding the above, any set of circumstances which led to the death of an officer, may be considered.