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Remembering fallen MountieHay River plaque to honour Const. Christopher Worden
Northern News Services
Published Thursday, March 25, 2010
The bronze plaque features a likeness of Worden based on his official RCMP photograph – an image of a smiling young Mountie that became familiar to Northerners in the wake of his senseless murder.
"We honour your dedicated service and your ultimate sacrifice to protect the residents of our town," the plaque reads. "Your life and your legacy is evident by the impact you have had on the community members of Hay River to do what is right, just and true. You will be remembered in Hay River as a Hero."
Sgt. Scott Buchanan, the commander of the Hay River RCMP detachment, said he is impressed by the plaque.
"It kind of stops you in your tracks," said Buchanan, who never met Worden.
The sergeant said the plaque is a very appropriate memorial.
"The membership of the detachment appreciates the acknowledgement of the sacrifice," he added.
Mayor Kelly Schofield is also impressed with the plaque.
"We don't want to forget the sacrifice," the mayor said.
The tribute, which was first presented during a town council meeting on March 22, will be Hay River's permanent memorial to Worden.
Schofield said it was created in consultation with the Worden family, who also supports the idea of creating a drug-free zone around Hay River's schools in the constable's memory.
"Those were the two memorials they wanted to have," Schofield said of Worden's surviving relatives.
The mayor added that the fallen constable is also remembered in a candlelight vigil each year on the anniversary of the fatal shooting.
The town plans to display the plaque in a prominent place at the recreation centre.
Schofield said it will eventually be moved to a place of honour in a new town hall, once that building is constructed.
The $4,000 plaque was created by Behrends Bronze Inc. of Edmonton.
Worden, a 30-year-old father, was shot and killed in the early morning hours of Oct. 6, 2007.
Late last year, a drug trafficker – Emrah Bulatci of Edmonton – was convicted of first-degree murder in the officer's death and sentenced to life imprisonment with no chance of parole for 25 years.
Before his tragic death, Worden had served in Hay River for two years.