On a day like today, it means nothing to be liberal, conservative or new democratic. It means nothing to be left wing or right wing. On a day like today, we are all Canadians.
With Remembrance Day only a few short weeks away, my heart is heavy. It has been a century since the great world wars. We honour and commemorate the brave soldiers who gave their lives to make Canada our True North Strong & Free.
Today, at the National War Memorial in the capital of Canada, right here in Ottawa, a soldier who was literally, “standing on guard” senselessly lost his life to an act of terrorism. The man guilty of his murder proceeded to Canada’s Parliament Hill where he was shot down before he could take more lives.
The city was on lock down. There was widespread panic. I was lucky enough to reach my friends and family who work right in the downtown core at the scene of all these crimes before the phone lines went down. Before power went down throughout the city. Some weren’t so lucky. Some couldn’t reach their family and had no way of knowing if they were safe.
Though the situation is still, “fluid” according to officials, though Canada still has many questions yet to be answered, as we make our way home or to our safety zone, we are slowly coming to terms with what has happened.
It is important to remember in this time how precious life is. How we can wake up tomorrow completely unaware of what might happen. We always think to ourselves, “It won’t happen here. It will never happen to me.” Today, the family and friends of Cpl. Nathan Cirillo are faced with an unfair, cruel and harsh reality that life as they know it, will never be the same without their loved one.
To those people, I am praying continually. For those people, my heart is heavy. For those grieving, I wish I could wrap my arms around you and undo what has been done. I cannot. Cpl. Nathan Cirillo died a hero. He died reminding us that we cannot forget what we stand on guard for. To stand on guard at The National War memorial is considered to be an honour. He was here on post from Hamilton, Ontario because he was one of the best. Though he is gone too soon, though all those left behind have broken hearts that may never fully heal, we will now have the honour of standing on guard for him.
Thank you to each and every Canadian who knows what an amazing country this is. Thank you to everyone who knows every word to our national anthem. Thank you to all those countries who have chosen to be our allies. Thank you for your true patriot love.
Within moments of these tragic events, I got messages from friends and family all across the world. It filled me with love and with hope that the world is not made of evil. It is made of people who were born into the world totally innocent with all the hope in the world to be the best they can be. It is with this kind of love that I hope we will fight this.
This made international news instantly because Canada is a peace keeping nation. This made international news because we are a country that can stand together for any cause.
Let’s stand together now and always. Let’s remember what all these soldiers bravely give their lives to on a daily basis. Let’s not let politics and extremists get the best of us. Let’s not be terrified, let’s be better than that. Let’s be Canadian. Let’s be free.