The events in recent days
that have stunned Canadians
at home and abroad
are tragic and terribly sad.
Like millions, I grieve
for the soldiers,
their families and friends,
and fellow Canadians.
And I grieve
for innocence lost.
Last summer I was home in Nova Scotia
and taking a road trip
around my beautiful native province
with my sister Barb.
Along the way we stopped in Lunenburg.
My sister Barb and I found ourselves
laughing really, really hard
when we came across Canadian Customs
in Lunenburg's harbour.
"That's so Canada!"
we agreed in delight;
we who were international travelers
and experienced in more difficult entry ports.
This is so Canada!
And that's what is so unique and wonderful
about this peaceful nation in the True North.
It is a nation that is open, free, tolerant, and gentle.
So as we collectively mourn the loss
of Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent
and Corporal Nathan Cirillo,
we also mourn the loss of innocence
that has struck Canadians
at home and abroad.
I have lived over half my life in the USA,
my adopted country that I love;
but I also love my native country Canada,
and I always marveled that in this chaotic world
there was a place called Canada
where people were truly free
to pursue their dreams in peace and safety.
And I pray that these tragic events
won't change the tolerance and openness
that is Canada.
Canadians may feel less innocent
and more exposed to the horrors
that inflict so many around the world,
but we must not give in to hate and fear.
That would be far more devastating
than a loss of innocence.
The reach of ISIS and other hate groups is long,
but Canada's strength and love of freedom and tolerance is longer.
Canadians may not understand the hate that motivates ISIS
(and others) to do brutal and horrific acts,
but we must stand strong in our resolve to stop them.
One thing yesterday's attack in Ottawa
should make absolutely clear
is that everyone is impacted by extreme radical Islam.
We must remember that this is a fringe element
and does not represent the vast majority
of peaceful and decent Muslims around the world.
We can't meet hate with hate;
but one way or another,
we have to confront the threat.
It's innocence and a sense of security that is lost.
But the bad guys win only when we succumb to fear.
Free and strong means
going about your regular lives
and not cowering because of the what ifs.
My heart goes out to the families
of the people killed and wounded.
There is something so awful
about callously running a soldier over
or murdering a soldier on guard at a war memorial.
I think of our military forces
in the US and Canada every day.
They are the best of our nations
because they voluntarily choose to serve and protect us,
so we can go about our safe and ordinary lives
in peace and freedom.
So rest in peace,
Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent
and Corporal Nathan Cirillo.
Our nation and people honor your service
and mourn your loss.
God's peace to your family and friends.