Today, I am a proud Canadian.
I am proud of how my country handled a tragic event.
I am proud of how fellow Canadians responded to an unexpected crisis.
I am proud of how this event unites us in a life affirming fashion.
Canadians are united in our horror and grief that transcends all our country’s borders, nationalities and cultures.
It is beyond tragic that a ceremonial guard simply by maintaining a presence at a Cenotaph honouring the dead unknown soldier is dead.
Attacks on Canada are rare. Yet, while rare, we know how to handle times of crisis. Instead of getting engulfed with fear and sensationalism, we remain who we are. We honour sacrifice and solidarity. We honour bravery and selflessness.
We won’t allow such an attack to change how we are viewed worldwide or how we view ourselves. We will determine to maintain our culture of diversity and tolerance.
Friends who travel tell me that people around the world comment on how wonderful Canadians are. Immediately after the attack people ran to help. Barbara Winters whispered to Nathan that he was loved and brave and good. She did not know him yet she intuitively understood we all yearn to hear words that matter when it matters.
Our lives matter.
We will not let this attack shape us.
Cpl. Cirillo awoke this past Wednesday morning and went to do a job intending to return home that night. Something we Canadians want to do in freedom everyday.
While we understand there are a few people who have evil intents, we will not let this attack change what we value as Canadians.
We value tolerance, understanding and discussion.
While we all know that throughout the world people are killed in the line of duty, or die within wars to dreadful to recall, sometimes it takes identifying with one single fallen soldier to make us all feel and understand.
It is but a scant three weeks before Remembrance Day.
A week to remember what we value as a country.
A week to ensure that we continue to treasure what makes us uniquely Canadian.
Today, I am proud to be a Canadian.