Thousands of police officers from across Canada and around the world marched through the streets of downtown Edmonton to honour Cst. Daniel Woodall of the Edmonton Police Service, a husband and father of two, slain in the line of duty.
In The Line of Duty
Our office staff at North Pointe watched the highly emotional funeral service via CTV News. One of the EPS officers from our church family was a pall bearer. Members of the EPS, Alberta Sheriffs and the RCMP from the North Pointe family and our Jones family were in attendance at the Shaw Conference Centre, site of the funeral.
My friend, Rev. Lawrence Peck was the officiating minister.
On March 16th, officers Travis Jordan & Brett Ryan, were murdered in the line of duty, responding to a domestic call. They were younger than our sons. They gave their lives in service to our community. As civilians, we can’t truly understand the risks that come with that job. Our deepest condolences to their loved ones & EPS colleagues.
Please pray for the Jordan and Ryan families.
Sources of Comfort
In the grief and mourning of the moment, it was the words of Jesus from the Bible, prayers to God and the sounds of “Amazing Grace” on the bagpipes of four regimental bands that were the chosen sources of comfort.
In an era of public prayers being silenced at governmental functions, when help is most needed it is to God that we turn. “Our help is in the name of the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.” (Psalm 124:8)
Daniel Woodall crossed an ocean blue to come to Edmonton from England. Today you couldn’t cross a street in Edmonton without seeing an ocean of blue ribbons and shirts in his honour. He wore the values of the EPS on his shoulders and in his life.
Integrity – Doing the right things for the right reasons all the time.
Courage – Maintain strength in the face of our greatest challenges.
Community – Respect and honor the diverse communities that we are Dedicated to Protect and Proud to Serve.
Cst Woodall’s community work with the Hate Crimes Unit cost him his life. It was while courageously serving an arrest warrant for a hate crime that he was murdered. His integrity as a peace officer in Great Britain and Canada put him in good stead with his peers and the people he was called to protect.
Cst. Woodall’s fellow officer and friend reminded us that “behind every great man is a woman.” Cst. Woodall’s widow, Claire, sat in the front row with a gracious smile and was lauded by the Chief of Police for the way she has helped others through this nightmare by her calming demeanour.
Claire wrote, “There are really no words great enough to express my love and gratitude to the City of Edmonton. You have shown so much love and support to myself, my family, and all first responders. We will be forever grateful. I am lucky to call Edmonton my home. Thank you. From my family to yours.”
As Daniel was to Community, Integrity and Courage so Claire is to Grace.
In what was the most touching moment during the service for me, Cst Woodall’s sons, in an image eerily reminiscent of President John F. Kennedy’s son John Jr., marched proudly behind their father as their grandfather helped carry the casket.
Lawrence Peck in the Line of Duty
Rev. Lawrence Peck, Chaplain to the EPS, led the funeral procession and then led the service. Our connection goes back 43 years to Friday nights spent with friends in our family room just hanging out.
Two Ontario boys could never have imagined that we would serve in the ministry together in Edmonton, Alberta and he would occupy the biggest stage of his life in one the saddest moments in our city’s history.
Courage…Community…Integrity…Grace…qualities that will serve each of us well moving into a future with God’s help.
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Well written Pastor Bob. I would like to thank you, our church, and every other EPS supporter for the support over the past week. Having lost a member there has been a lot of hurt and a feeling of loss throughout our police force, and it’s brought many the realization that it could happen to any of us, we are human, and there is sin.
Since loosing Dan, our community has risen and stepped forward with open arms. We typically deal with the negative/difficult 5% of the population, and having the other 95% show support through gifts, gestures, kind words or even smiles, was touching. The last shift I worked was truly different, and I hope it sticks around for a while. I know my for my family, seeing and feeling the support provided us comfort in knowing we’d be supported should the “what if” situation happen to us.
Thanks Ian. It was just days before the shooting that you and I stood in the NP foyer talking about family and serving with your squad. The EPS has made the job look safe because of their efficiency. I forget that there is danger everyday.
Glad you have felt the appreciation.
Sometimes the most important roles go unappreciated.
Heartbreaking …I can’t imagine sending a loved one off every morning…knowing that there is a possibility that they might not come home at the end of the day. A job hazard. We are blessed to have people in the community, who are willing to keep us safe every day…knowing that they put themselves at risk & in harm’s way. Sending my condolences to their families & friends. RIP ❣️
Great message Bob! My nephew is a police officer and has at many times responded to domestic disturbances. This hits too close to home. I know a lot of police officers as well… seeing the ribbons hanging at my friend’s house today just hit me emotionally today.
I know you are proud of your nephew, Diane. Tough job. Dangerous. We often forget that, but moms and aunts don’t.
Julie, you and I have been employed in challenging jobs in which we have faced occasional unpleasant treatment but no one ever tried to kill us. Hats off to the EPS and RCMP.