Friday, 24 October 2014

We've found the helpers: we must laud them; The Highway of Heroes

Twitter user ‏@kamakazi19982 posted this photo online Wednesday morning with the message 'OK, so we were on a tour at that war monument in Ottawa a few minutes ago, a few seconds later there was a shooting.' (Twitter)

Twitter user ‏@kamakazi19982 posted this photo online Wednesday morning with the message 'OK, so we were on a tour at that war monument in Ottawa a few minutes ago, a few seconds later there was a shooting.'
Nathan Cirillo and Branden Stevenson

An image from a Facebook memorial page dedicated to slain Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, right, also shows Cpl. Brandon Stevenson, who chased the gunman that fatally shot Cirillo at the National War Museum in Ottawa on Wednesday.. (Facebook)

 Ron Foxcroft, the honorary colonel of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders of Canada regiment, said Brandon Stevenson briefly chased the shooter before returning to the war memorial to try to revive his wounded friend. Foxcroft said he showed "tremendous bravery" in pursuing the shooter

Wise words from Mr. Rogers, who calmly greeted each day.

We are finding more out about the helpers. They reject the label 'heroes', yet not all of us would know what to do. Some spent time taking photos, as bystanders were kept away from the scene, once the Cpl. was being attended to by nurse Lerhe, layer Winters, and Cpl. Brandon Stevenson, his buddy.

They applied pressure to his wounds, gave him CPR, and did what they could.
Nurse Lerhe stepped up. She did her job as best she could, in the face of terrible wounds, since the Cpl. was shot from behind. There were several people helping.

The helpers

Nurse Lerhe gave the Cpl. medical aid
Kevins Vickers, Sergeant-at-Arms
his team brought the shooter down
She first did chest compressions, then, when others took over, she was speaking calmly to him.
While Cpl. Cirillo lay dying, Winters said and did what I have heard done in other times and other places.
"I told him you are loved. You are brave. You are good. Your parents must be so proud of you. Your family loves you. Look at these people who are all trying to help you. We all love you. Your military family loves you. There is a Col. here helping you." 
Barbara Winters, lawyer

Would you know what to say, if there was nothing you could do?

In fact, there was a car crash Nov. 22, in South River, Central Ontario, west of Algonquin Park, in which a young man died at the scene. The ice was bad that day. The road wasn't opened until 3:00 a.m., what a long night. Graciously, one of the civilians who responded posted a message in the comments section:

A small piece of comfort in this sad time
I am writing this letter to let you know that I was one of the indivdual that had stopped at the accident. I am 42 years old and a mom myself. I feel strongly that everyone needs to know he was not alone. Myself and two other young men were with him until the emergency crew got there. There was a sense of peace and that I feel that Chris knew that help was one it way. I reached down and grabbed his hand to try and show him the love and care that his family would want him to know. He held my hand tightly and you knew he felt comfort, I cannot explain it . He was not able to talk well, but was able to get out 'tell my family I love them'. It was not clear but you knew. Myself and the other young men tried the best we could do provide comfort to him. I remember there was a young man about the same age as Kris and he was fantastic he wanted to help so much . If it get forgotten thank you Gabe. You are a in my thoughts. I wish the family all the best and shed a tear for your loss. I hope in someway the family gains comfort.

No doubt it will be comforting. Our imaginations are always worse than reality. While I remember my parents' last days, I better recall the good times and the bright memories. I will always be grateful to the ambulance crews, and those who made their last days, hours and minutes more comfortable.

Today there is something many can do

Highway of Heroes
Highway of heroes.
They will take Cpl. Cirillo's body along the Highway of Heroes today. Many, I know, will line the route along this highway as his body as taken from Ottawa to Hamilton this afternoon. They leave Ottawa today, arriving in Hamilton, his home town later today.

 On August 24, 2007, the stretch of highway between Toronto (from Highway 404/Don Valley Parkway) and CFB Trenton (from Glen Miller Road) was given the additional name Highway of Heroes, in honour of Canadian Forces personnel killed during the War in Afghanistan. Crowds line the route every time a soldier is repatriated

Do you know? I wish I could go. I'm still wrestling with pneumonia. I will be there in sprit.


Nancy J said...

Jennifer, your words, and the link to Barbara Winters' interview, give new insight into the Ottawa tragedy. Yes, those behind the scenes, we do not always know them, but their hands, and comforting words mean so much to the families. And you took time to give us this, even with your own health not good, I hope you are resting up, the fire going, hot lemon drinks and antibiotics doing what they should. Take care, dear friend, Hugs,,XXX Jean.

eileeninmd said...

I have been following this on the news.. A sad time for Ottawa. My prayers go out to the victims families..and thanks to the heroes.. I hope you feel better soon, enjoy your weekend!

William Kendall said...

I read articles today about the nurse and lawyer and the others who stepped in. Ms. Winters' words were just right.

Last year I was part of a group of people who tended to a man who just collapsed in the Bay store at the Rideau Centre. He was having a cardiac episode, and in one way or another we were working together to keep him alive until medics showed up. Someone was doing CPR, we were talking to him, trying to keep him with us.

Hilary said...

Wonderful reminder here, Jennifer. A few years back, my son was on his way to my place in Mississauga when he happened upon the scene of an accident. Two adults women.. mother and daughter had been struck by a car just moments before. The mother was in much worse condition. He stayed with her and talked to her and told her that her daughter was not badly hurt and that she too would be okay. He wasn't so sure about the last part but he wanted to give her some comfort. She passed away in the hospital. He was saddened but could compartmentalize it well enough (partly his military training.. partly his character), and felt he had done the best he could do for her. His mother was very proud of him.