The Friendly Funeralista

A Tragic Week for Policing

Posted on: March 13, 2010

Funeral Procession for Const. James Ochakovsky

Funeral Procession for Const. Vu Pham

This has been a sad week for policing here in Ontario.  Tuesday, Constable  Artem (James) Ochakovsky of the Peel Regional Police was honoured with a full police funeral in Mississauga and yesterday, OPP Constable Vu Pham, was laid to rest in Wingham, Ontario.  One officer interviewed told the press “when one officer falls, we all stumble” a simple statement which explains why thousands of officers from all over North America gathered in Ontario to honour their fallen comrades this week.  Police funerals take on a life of their own.  While important for the broader community, they can be very stressful for the immediate family who must adapt to the stringent protocols established to ensure ceremonial efficiency.  The two funeral firms that were entrusted with the arrangements for these officers are family run operations.   I know that despite all the politicians, pipe and drum bands and processions of marching officers that the needs of these  families would have come first under the care of these funeral homes.  I know that the funeral directors would have acted as advocates for these families.  There would have been many gentle reminders to the well-meaning protocol officers to “stand down” and give the family “some time”, “some say”, “some privacy”.  I worry about the widows of these men.  Now that all the activity and ceremony are over and all the people have gone home they must try to put their lives back together.  Now the real work of grieving will begin. 

 Here are some photos of Officer Pham’s funeral.  Kudos to the citizens of Wingham who came out in droves to support the family of this fallen officer.

Placard held by child in Wingham


Blue and yellow ribbons all over the town of Wingham honour Const. Pham


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