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Canadian Mountie’s father shares Christ through son’s eulogy

EDMONTON, Alberta, Canada (BP)–At a national memorial service for four Royal Canadian Mounted Police killed in the line of duty, the father of the youngest slain officer fulfilled his son’s wish for his death to bear witness to Jesus Christ.

Peter Schiemann, 25, and fellow mounties Brock Myrol, 29, Leo Johnston, 34, and Anthony Gordon, 28, were killed March 4 in a shootout while investigating a marijuana operation in rural Alberta. The wounded gunman then took his own life.

Thirteen thousand mourners, including 10,000 police offers and emergency workers from across North America, attended the four officers’ March 10 memorial service at the University of Alberta in Edmonton.

Don Schiemann, a Lutheran pastor in Stony Plain, Alberta, in his eulogy for his son said in part:

“Today Canada mourns the loss of four of her sons who paid the supreme price. The RCMP has lost four of its members and our family has buried a wonderful son and brother.

“This is a time to think about those four brave men, heroes every one of them. And to think of the other 20,000 heroes who serve in a divinely appointed office, to maintain the right that we might live in peace and safety.

“In our national anthem, we sing, ‘We stand on guard for thee.’ The men and women of the RCMP, in their chosen vocation, serve and guard this great nation from evil and lawlessness. And sometimes, in the course of their duties, are called upon to make the ultimate sacrifice.

“A three-minute eulogy for Tony, Brock, Leo or Peter will never be sufficient and we all know that. If you want to know my son, you’ll need to come to our home and we’ll put on a large pot of coffee and talk for hours. Beth, Michael, Julie and I would consider it a privilege to bend your ear and, with great pride, tell you about Peter. And we’ll tell you why there’s a faint hint of a smile on his portrait….

“Over and over again, people tell us that they could never begin to understand the depth of our loss. That is true. But we know of one who does understand and feel our pain because He lost His Son, too.

“It happened when God gave the sinless life of His Son at the cross to redeem sinful lives and to purchase forgiveness for us all. Three days later He raised His Son from the dead and conquered death. It is through this event … that we have hope…. This hope fills us with eager anticipation and a longing for the time when we shall be forever with the Lord. It is this hope that will ease the pain of our loss.

“Peter told me a year ago: ‘Dad, if something ever happens to me, I want people to hear about Jesus and to hear about hope.’

“Constable Peter Schiemann, my son, I carried out your wish this afternoon.

“Lord Jesus, heal our wounded hearts. Fulfill in us your promise that those who sow tears shall reap in joy.

“Peter, we will see you in heaven, but we can hardly wait.”

    About the Author

  • Nancy McGough