I sat in absolute silence. The house was so still that I could hear nothing but the humming of the fridge and the computer.
Then I cried.
Shock. Numbness. Fear. Sadness.
I wept for the loss of a man I had never known or had never met. I wept for his family and loved ones. I wept for a nation that would forever remember this man.
The Ottawa shooting is a tragic event that has shaken Canadians everywhere. The shooting of Cpl. Nathan Cirillo shocked me because it was a rude awakening. I feel as though as a nation, Canadians are a peace-loving country and that things like this just don’t happen here. Yesterday popped that bubble of security.
How could anyone shoot and kill a man who was just guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the National War Memorial? What kind of person does something like that?
My thoughts quickly turned to all my friends and loved ones who live in Ottawa. I was BBMing back and forth with one of my best friends, as her husband’s and her sister’s places of employment were under lock down. Her little boy’s school was under lock down as well. How terrifying it must have been to be at work while not knowing what dangers were still out there or if you would ever see your family again.
Today, as I read through the many tweets in my Twitter stream with the hashtags #CanadaStrong, #OttawaStrong, #RIPNathanCirillo, #OttawaShooting, I came across this video and the tears welled up.
The story of how strangers tried to save the life of Cpl. Nathan Cirillo made me think of human nature and fight or flight. These people’s reactions were to try to save Cpl. Cirillo instead of fleeing and hiding lest there be more shooting.
Canada has certainly been hit with tragedy this week, but I am reminded of how amazing our country is. Canada Strong.
Photos of Cpl. Nathan Cirillo with his son and with his dogs make me cry. They’re a reminder of how fragile life is and the images make me want to hug my child longer and harder than ever when she gets home from school.
Today I just want to reach out to fellow Canadians and ask, “How are you doing today?”
If this cowardly act of killing an innocent man was meant to shake the foundation Canadians stand on, it had the opposite effect. Shaken, saddened, at a loss, but still strong.