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Fallen Bike Patrol Gamali Benjamin given a Military Funeral.

benji13082015St. Maarten Community Turned out in large numbers to pay tribute the fallen cop who died in the line of his duties.

PHILIPSBURG:--- Hundreds of persons gathered in front of the Philipsburg Police Station to witness the military funeral service that was held on Thursday for fallen bike patrol Gamaili Kwasi Benjamin. Large buses were used to transport members of KPSM and officers from the other justice department to the Royal Funeral Home for those persons to pay their last respects to their fallen colleague. The service which supposed to begin at 10:30 at the Philipsburg Police Station due to the family’s request to allow the viewing to proceed until 11:00am.
At 11:30 am the body of the fallen officer who shot during an armed robbery at Oro Diamante on Front Street last week Wednesday was brought to the Philipsburg Police Station while all his colleagues from the various justice departments and those visiting from the neighboring islands lined up as the entourage drove towards the Philipsburg Police Station. When the hearse arrived in front of the headquarters of KPSM it stopped as the guard of honor continued while the relatives of the late officer were taken inside the Philipsburg Police Station where his photograph was placed on the wall for fallen officers and a framed photograph was handed to his wife and son. This part of the ceremony was done in the presence of Governor Eugene Holiday and first lady Marie-Louise, Prime Minister Marcel Gumbs, Minister of Justice Dennis Richardson, and other members of the Council of Ministers along with close relatives of the late Bike Patrol. After that the management of KPSM then unveiled a photograph that is placed on the front wall of the Philipsburg Police Station in the presence of his immediate relatives and dignitaries. His colleagues from all the departments of justice remained lined up in the blazing sun as the official military ceremony took place, to conclude the official service Deputy Chief Commissioner of Police Carl John marched to the hearse bearing the body of his fallen colleague whose casket was draped in a St. Maarten flag and repeated the words “Officer Benjamin your humbleness, your dedication, your bravery will serve as an example for us. It was an honor serving with you my friend, Officer Benjamin call sign “Bravo 1” has just left us.” After that the official blowing of the trumpet took place as Deputy Chief of Police Carl John walked back to where the families and dignitaries were before they all marched through Front Street as they head towards the Methodist Church where the official funeral service was held.
As the procession passed through Front Street all stores were closed, people from all walks of life including visitors stood beside the road to witness the funeral procession and the send-off one of benjaminentourge13082015St. Maarten’s bravest cop was given. At Oro Diamante Store an Officer was waiting on the first floor of the building to blow the trumpet as the hearse carrying the body of the slain officer drove pass.
When the body arrived at the Methodist Church on Front Street police officers “pallbearers” took the body out of the hearse and took into the church as people surrounded the building to get a glimpse of the casket. It took brave men of the law to do what they had to do on Thursday despite being emotional and still struggling to cope with the way their colleague was taken down.
At the church Prime Minister Marcel Gumbs, President of Parliament MP Lloyd Richardson, Governor Eugene Holiday, Minister of Justice Dennis Richardson, Chief Commissioner of Police Peter de Witte all described the fallen officer as a hero, an officer that was always ready to serve, someone that was always willing to listen and to give people a second chance. He was also described as being loving and caring. Prime Minister Gumbs said he did not know the fallen officer personally but what he have learnt about him during the past days made him understand why the community came out in numbers to show their support and to grieve with his family, friends and colleagues. Governor Holiday said that St. Maarten has lost someone that gave his life for his country. President of Parliament MP Lloyd Richardson said what transpired last Wednesday has forced the people of St. Maarten to come together, therefore the fifteen persons that were elected have no choice but to come together and do something to curb crime on St. Maarten.
Chief Commissioner of Police Peter de Witte, said Officer Benjamin is nothing less than being a hero, he commended the ‘men in blue’ for remaining strong even though they were each ripped apart after the tragedy struck. De Witte said while he will never forget the special smile of his fallen soldier he also learned a lot more about the man that worked for him after his passing. “The outpouring of love from the community was immense, it tells us at KPSM what type of person and officer you were while being the face of the police on the streets.”
Minister of Justice Dennis Richardson who is still shaken by this tragedy called on the officers of KPSM not to use the death of their colleague for their own self-interest but instead take example from his bravery, his behavior while he served his country. Minister Richardson went on to thank the family especially the father of the fallen officer for the way he brought up his son. He said it is clear that those that snatched his life away last week did not get that type of upbringing. He reminded those in attendance what it was like when he was growing up and how children back then were disciplined compared to today.
Officers of the police choir sang hymns while the aunt of the fallen officer gave his eulogy. She said that Benjamin lost his mother at a very young age but despite that he got his teachings from his grandmother who raised him and his sister.
benjiviewing13082015The late Bike Patrol leaves to mourn his father, grandmother, sister, wife, son and several other family members including his colleagues of KPSM.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click here to view photos of the funeral proceedings of falled Bike Patrol Gamali Benjamin.

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