On Friday, October
24th, I stood atop a bridge that spans across a long
section of Highway 401 called the Highway Of Heroes. I stood there
with a hundred others, all of us strangers, all united for a single
purpose. To pay our respects and to give our thanks to one of our
On October 22nd, an armed man walked up to the War Memorial in Ottawa and shot a Canadian Armed Forces Reservist twice before moving on to Parliament Hill, firing rounds steps away from where our Prime Minister was meeting with his caucus. My country was attacked by a brazen gunman, a man who was born here, but whose heart lied with extremists. What compelled him to attack the country he called home, I will never know. And, quite frankly, I don't want to know. What I do know is, he murdered a man, a soldier, who had devoted his life to protecting this nation.
Corporal Nathan Cirillo was serving with the Hamilton Argylls, and was stationed at the National War Memorial in Ottawa. The memorial has been guarded for several years after an idiot urinated on it. While guarding it, Corporal Cirillo was killed. He was killed while serving on Canadian soil. He leaves behind a six year old son, as well as countless siblings in arms.
The gunman was shot and killed by the Sergeant-at-Arms inside the Parliament Building. My heart goes out to the Sergeant-at-Arms, as his life is forever changed by the fact that he killed a man. Yes, it was a man who was attacking his country, but he was still a man. My heart also goes out to the family of the gunman, as they, like Cpl. Cirllo's family, must bury someone they held dear.
So, I stood on the overpass to pay my respects to Cpl. Cirillo. As I stood there waiting for his motorcade to go by, I was filled with several different emotions. I am still filled with them. I am shocked. I am sad. I am appalled. I am angry. I am shocked that someone, a Canadian, would attack their own country. I am sad that we have lost one of thousands of selfless people who put themselves before their nation. I am sad for the family of the gunman as their lives are forever changed. I am appalled at the senselessness of the crime committed. How dare he murder someone who had devoted their life to protecting him in a time of war? I am angry that this atrocity happened in the first place. I am angry that our nation of peace has been attacked. The fact that Cpl. Cirillo was killed while serving on Canadian soil makes it hurt all that much more; it's like pouring salt in a wound. It has hit extremely close to home.
|Cpl. Cirillo's motorcade.|
|Note all those who pulled over|
to pay their respects.