Saturday, 25 October 2014

It was an amazing day in Canada on Friday

Yes, a beautiful sunny day. If I were healthy I'd have gone down to the Highway of Heroes to wave a flag as the hearse and family passed.

Instead, I watched the loading of the hearse with the casket and thought of his grieving mothers, sisters and extended family. I got off Twitter, since the partisan vitriol was awful, and had to stop following several people who insisted in using this moment for political points.

They also had a ceremony to place two new ceremonial guards outside the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, which had been closed since the shooting took place there. Two brave young men stood in their kilts, with much pride and respect from those who were able to be there.

The images of people lining the highway at 416 were wonderful. Traffic stopped. People stood quietly as the funeral cortege passed. Citizens, soldiers, and firefighters standing atop their vehicles, all with flags raised, lined the bridges along the Highway of Heroes. Despite some high-profile American TV personalities; e.g., Rosie O’Donnell, criticising our Canadian solidarity, all of my American blog friends were sympathetic, since we support our soldiers. This could happen in any place, at any time. Our men and women in uniform are easy targets.


The Hamilton Tiger-cats loaned Ottawa RedBlacks football team their massive, largest in the world, Canada flag. Hundreds of people (150) were on the field holding it up. They didn't have someone in to sing our National Anthem, the crowd all came together to sing. They united the crowd, who felt good to be together in one place, with seatmates and friends beside them.

I was so proud of the way our Nation responded. From the moment Cpl. Cirillo's body left the funeral home in Ottawa, to where he was welcomed home in Hamilton at 7:00 p.m. or so, he was honoured and recognized. It was something like a 6-hour trip, and people waited on bridges for hours until they passed.
Thank you to Canadians & international friends for the messages of solidarity after the tragic loss of Cpl N Cirillo.

The @OPP_ER Tweeted updates of the location of the funeral cortege.
Citizens posted photos of their progress: like this amazing scene.

How can this not make you proud to be Canadian?
Then, @OPP_GTATraffic reported their progress around the Greater Toronto Area, following them around to 407, around Lake Ontario.
When they arrived in Hamilton, there was thanks from that city:
Hamilton Police (@HamiltonPolice):
Thank You ‪#‎HamOnt‬ & everyone in ‪#‎Canada‬ & world for standing united as ‪#‎Canadian‬ hero ‪#‎NathanCirillo‬ was brought home ‪#‎highwayofheroes‬

It was another day for reflection. People made sure that they didn't forget Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent, similarly killed this past week by someone else with mental health issues.

In the meantime, the perpetrator, someone who knew him has reported, had mental health issues, as well as a $160/day heroin addiction.
In the meantime, horrific shootings in California, two deputies killed, two injured.
And in a Washington H.S., another crazy incident. I am saddened by it all.
Hold fast to family.
  1. The Guardian ‎- 1 hour ago
    US police are trying to determine why a high school student shot dead a female classmate and wounded four others before killing himself, ...


Sallie (fullTime -life) said...

An excellent tribute. Yes, you should be very proud of your country. . Too many inexplainable things going on. Your last sentence says it all . At least we can do that.

Hilary said...

It's a very emotional experience to stand atop one of those overpasses while a soldier makes his final journey home. This one had to be the deepest felt by so many. I am proud of this Canadian support for our fallen.

Rest easy, Corporal Cirillo.

William Kendall said...

It's been quite a week, to say the least. I'm downtown today, close to the memorial, so I'm planning on stopping by in a little while. I was up yesterday around noon, and there were a lot of people placing flowers.

Red said...

It's a very emotional time to watch the hearse and procession go by. there will always be hot heads who try to twist the situation for their own demented objectives.

Powell River Books said...

These are crazy times. It is so important to support our brave defenders of peace. - Margy

Nancy J said...

I saw some of the cavalcade, and so many who stood to tribute the fallen soldier, his family, his army family, his friends, and all in Canada can be proud of him and those who helped, and those who respected Nathan on his final journey. Many thanks Jennifer for all your words. there is so much we do not hear or see on our TV. Hugs, take care, Jean.