Sombre affair honours fallen
By GENEVIEVE ALLPASS
SILENT tears fell as the honour roll was called and the names of the fallen echoed throughout the room.
Yesterday's National Police Remembrance Day Service recognised police officers who paid the ultimate sacrifice while protecting their community.
The Tweed service at St Anthony's Church in Kingscliff was a sombre yet moving affair as Tweed/Byron police officers and their families remembered their comrades.
It was a similar story around the country with thousands of police officers involved in parades and ceremonies in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Hobart and Darwin.
And in Canberra more than 800 officers from throughout Australia and the Pacific made their way to the national capital to pay tribute to the 700 colleagues who have died in the line of duty.
Australian Federal Police chief Mick Kelty said 20 officers had been killed in the past year in the region eight Australians and 12 from New Zealand, Fiji and Papua New Guinea.
At Kingscliff, police chaplain's Reverend Colin Batt and Father Jim Griffin led the congregation in prayer.
"May the friends and colleagues of police officers who have given their lives in the line of duty be inspired by the example of dedication given at so great a cost," Rev Batt said.
"May they share love and concern for each other and so lighten the burden of their loss."
Fr Griffin, in a personal homily, said "On this day our memories are open, our words may be few but on this day we honour those who are no longer with us."
"Today we remember them with a pride that is unquestionable."
n Continued next PageTweed Heads Police Commander Tim Tarlinton read from the National Commander's Address, which was read by police officials at services throughout the country.
"We gather at this time to honour the memory of many fine men and women," he said.
"...to commemorate their invaluable contributions, unquestioned devotion to duty, absolute loyalty and importantly, the ultimate sacrifice they each made.
"Our late colleagues lived to make a difference and they died as they lived, defending our way of life and safeguarding the peace."
Quoting the late President Roosevelt, Cmndr Tarlinton said "the credit belongs to the man in the arena, whose face is marred by dust, sweat and blood, who strives valiantly".
Robina-based Federal Agent David Grant said he attended the service on behalf of all NSW Federal Police, but particularly for Protective Service Officer Adam Dunning.
Officer Dunning lost his life on December 22, 2004, while serving in the Solomon Islands.
"It's very important to be here today to pause, remember, reflect and honour our colleagues," Mr Grant said.
This is the 17th year of National Police Remembrance Day Services.
They are to ensure that the police men and women across the country who have lost their lives protecting their community will never be forgotten.
Blue and white ribbons were worn as a mark of respect for the fallen officers.