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Thousands Honour Sgt. Ryan Russell

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By Julia Mohammed

On Jan. 18, more than 12,000 people from across Canada and the United States attended the funeral of Sgt. Ryan Russell in Toronto. Police, emergency workers and thcanadian-flag-644729_960_720ousands of Toronto residents came to honour Sgt. Russell’s memory and support his wife, Christine and their son, Nolan.

Sgt. Russell died in the line of duty, trying to stop a runaway snowplow. His death affected so many people, even those who had never met him. When a police officer dies, everyone cares.

It’s not often a police officer dies while doing his job, says Cherie Sullivan a dispatcher for Peel Regional Police. “When it happens, everyone in law and authority feels the pain, like a family.” Another officer said he came to show his respect for the risks that officers take every day. “It’s a sign of honour,” he said.

Christine Russell spoke with love about her husband and thanked everyone who came, saying their support helped the entire family. Her words brought tears to the crowd in the Rogers Centre.

Sgt. Russell was killed trying to stop a stolen snowplow in downtown Toronto. Richard Kachkar, 44, has been charged with murder.

This article was written by Julia Mohammed, a journalism student at Ryerson.
Thank you to Nancy Miller, our guest editor on this article.
And thanks to Jeremy Gilbert for allowing us to use his outstanding photo of the event!

CURRICULUM CONNECTIONS

Writing/Discussion Prompt:
Most of the people who came to Sgt. Russell’s funeral didn’t know him personally, or his family. Why do you think they came?  Would you want to attend this funeral even if you didn’t know Sgt. Russell?  Why or why not?

Reading Prompt
Sometimes the main idea of text is at the beginning, sometimes it is buried in the middle and sometimes it is at the end. Underline the main idea of this text and discuss why you think it’s the main idea.

Primary:
Identify several reading comprehension strategies and use them before, during, and after reading to understand texts (OME, Reading: 1.3)

Junior:
Identify a variety of reading comprehension strategies and use them before, during, and after reading to understand texts (OME, Reading: 1.3)

Grammar Feature: Quotation Marks
Quotation marks are used to show when someone is speaking.  Two examples from the article are:
– “When it happens, everyone in law and authority feels the pain, like a family.”
– “It’s a sign of honour,” he said.

Write quotation marks in the appropriate places in the following sentences:
1. I wish that it would snow today, moaned Jessica.
2. When she looked at her brother Ali said, You have mud all over your face!
3. The cat said Meow! when she wanted something to eat.
4. Tina opened her birthday present and yelled, Thank you!  I always wanted a bike!