Belfast Telegraph

National Police Memorial Day: Relatives weep openly as their heartbreak is shared

By Deborah McAleese

Blue, green and pink heart-shaped petals, representing all the police officers across the UK who died while on duty, gently floated through the air of the Waterfront Hall.

While they drifted to the ground the gallery fell silent as police officers and their families remembered the hundreds of friends, colleagues and loved ones who gave their lives protecting others.

The silence was broken by the orchestra playing Abide With Me, followed by the sounding of the Last Post.

The hurt caused by 30 years of violence in Northern Ireland could not be hidden as relatives of police officers killed during the Troubles wept openly during the National Police Memorial Day service, which was attended by the Prince of Wales.

They shared their heartbreak and loss with the families of officers killed across the United Kingdom.

One of the most touching moments of the day was when the 11-year-old son of PSNI Constable Declan Greene – who was killed alongside three colleagues when their patrol car crashed in Warrenpoint in November 2008 – addressed the service. Cormac Greene, who was only five when his father died, led a prayer for all those who had lost a loved one.

Four candles, representing Northern Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales, were lit to remember the devotion and commitment exemplified by all those officers who were killed.

Lighting a candle for all the RUC and PSNI officers who have died was Janice Taylor, chairwoman of the RUC George Cross Widows' Association.

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