Fallen soldier honoured by courage and resolve
Showing resilience and courage, Canada’s Parliament re-opened for business today, 24 hours after a lone gunman shot and killed Canadian soldier Nathan Cirillo and wounded another person.
The incident froze Canada in the moment and has, temporarily at least, smashed aside partisan differences in Parliament by highlighting all that is good in Canadian culture: strength of character and resolve; wisdom and courage; humiliation and politeness and an underlying hockey player’s ‘don’t mess with me’ mien exhibited by Ottawa’s brave police officers and emergency service workers, and the individual who halted shooter Michael Zehaf-Bibeau’s rampage, Parliamentary Sergeant-at-Arms Kevin Vickers, who this morning received a thunderous standing ovation by Parliamentarians, united as one by returning to work in defiance of an attempt at terror.
Sparwood resident and Kootenay-Columbia MP David Wilks, a former RCMP officer, showed his true stuff during the incident yesterday, standing next to the barred door leading to a caucus chamber. Wilks stated on Facebook that it is now back to business for him.
“Must admit once a policeman, always a policeman. Was jacked up all night, got up at 5 a.m. this morning and went to the gym for a couple ours to work off some steam. The House of Commons will resume sitting this morning and I will be there. Committee meetings have been cancelled for the day. Catch a flight tonight back to Calgary and then a flight to Cranbrook tomorrow morning. Events in Creston on Friday afternoon and evening. Then off to Nelson for events there all day Saturday. Drive back to Cranbrook Saturday night and catch the Sunday morning flight back to Ottawa. Have a great day!” Wilks stated on his Facebook page.
“As I was heading out to deliver some of my campaign literature to mailboxes today I was listening to CBC radio and the events going on in Ottawa. Although I take being Mayor and running for re-election very seriously it felt small compared to what was happening in our nation’s capital. I asked staff to lower the flags at City Hall to half-mast and I ask all of you to keep our fallen soldiers in Ottawa and in Quebec and their families in your prayers,” said City of Cranbrook Mayor Wayne Stetski on Facebook.
City of Fernie Mayor Mary Giuliano observed: “What has happened in Ottawa impacts all Canadians; very sad news especially for those directly affected. My condolences to the family of the soldier. Canada has always been known to be a safe place; this kind of behavior puts the entire world on notice that something needs to change and that more violence in the world to bring about peace isn’t the answer.”
Lead image: Kevin Vickers walks through Parliament, gun in hand, following yesterday’s shooting. CBC image