“A hero who deserves a hero’s send off.” This is the way Leader of the Opposition, Kamla Persad-Bissessar, SC, MP – Siparia described Lance Corporal Marcus Gay, who was killed in the line of duty.
Speaking at the funeral service in Siparia on Monday 11th September, 2017, Mrs Persad-Bissessar said, “When I heard of the passing of young Lance Corporal Marcus Gay, killed in the line of duty, doing his job in service of his country, I felt great sadness and fear. He died trying to make Trinidad and Tobago safer.”
Noting that for 12 years, Lance Corporal Marcus Gay dedicated his life to the Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force, she asked, “While he was protecting us, who was protecting him?”
The Siparia MP said, “In times like these, we must stand together and lift each other up, in any way we can. We must be our brothers’ and sisters’ keeper.”
“The government which I led, in the budget presentation of 2014, made a commitment to the payment of one million dollars to the estate of each of the members of the protective services,” she said. “This meant that the family members of persons serving in the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service, the Defence Force, the Fire Service and the Prison Service, killed in the line of duty, would have one less thing to worry about in their time of grief.”
“This promise was made by my government in recognition of the risk that those who belong to the protective services undertake each day to protect us all,” the Opposition Leader said.
She noted, “When we demitted office, I continued to keep this high on the agenda, raising questions in Parliament, reminding the new Prime Minister that he said he would honour this promise.
“On or about the 14th April 2016 Minister of National Security, Retired Major General, Mr. Edmund Dillon re-stated the commitment of the government to honour the one million dollar compensation package proposed by my administration to families of all members of the protective service slain in the line of duty,” she stated. “In September of 2016, I went so far as to draft a Cabinet Note, for the Government, all they had to do was take it and say yes – it would have been so easy for them to show that they stand on the side of our protective services.”
The Opposition Leader said, “It is no secret that crime in this country is out of control. That means that everyday, their jobs get harder, and more dangerous, but still, every day, they put on their uniforms, they take abuse from the public and public officials alike, and still with a quiet dignity they get their job done.”
“We must do our best to honour the legacy that young Lance Corporal Marcus has left behind,” Mrs. Persad-Bissessar said. “Let us work together to create a better, safer country for his wife and his son.”