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.
That's beautifully written. I am afraid Canada will become more like the U.S., and it's not the fault of Canadians.ReplyDelete
Thank you, Janie! I'm sad to say that you are probably right. Take care!Delete
Damn nut jobs need to be thrown in a deep dark hole. They are everywhere it seems. Sad day indeed.ReplyDelete
So it is, Pat! Have a good evening where you're at!ReplyDelete
You did a splendid job on this post, thank you! Many of us here are on edge, as your can imagine.ReplyDelete
Thank you, Linda! And I understand that on the edge feeling! Have a safe and happy weekend!Delete
Hopefully Canadians will bond and get stronger over this tragedy. Instead of rushing to fear, paranoia, and finger pointing like we do in America.ReplyDelete
I am hopeful that this will not happen in Canada. I hope that you and Daisy have a great weekend, Adam!Delete
I remember the days after 9/11, when the reality of terrorism hit so many of us in America, and I remember how we held together and saw our, and each other's strength. It was horrible but perhaps that realization of the bond that we all shared was one good thing that came out of it. I hope it will be so for Canada.ReplyDelete
I hope so too, Diana! The days immediately following 9/11 really did bring us together as Americans. Have a safe and happy weekend!Delete
I agree and I don't think Canada will over-react. That's not really our way. We will just be quietly determined as we always are.ReplyDelete
I hope so, Debra! There is strength in quiet determination. Take care!Delete
Beautiful post, Louise. A very sad time for our country. But I believe, just as Debra does, that we will handle this quiet determination. What I love most about this country is that gentle and polite spirit that we all have.ReplyDelete
Thanks, Martha! The gentleness and politeness of Canadians is joked about here in the USA, but I think Americans respect our national demeanor. And I'm with both you and Debra in how you think Canada will respond. Have a great weekend!Delete
Well said Fundy.ReplyDelete
You know.. I was just so shocked to hear about this. Canada? ..I thought.. No way!
But the news unfolded and I realized it was true
So sorry to all involved
A very sad thing
Thanks, Dawna Lee! I was shocked, too! And I can imagine how shocked and outraged Americans would be, if a gunman had gone into Arlington National Cemetery and shot one of the U.S. Army honor guards at the Tomb of the Unknowns. Fanatics try to strike at the heart of what nations value most. We may not be able to predict or prevent a specific attack, but we can control our response. Have a happy weekend!Delete
I'm catching up with your posts, because I hate to miss any. Your blog is rich with profound thoughts and simple truths. Sorry if I have told you this before but I taught in Bridgewater for three years (band teacher at the high school from 1988-91). I rented an old home along the LaHave River for the first year, and then moved to Hubbards to live in another rented home looking over St. Margaret's Bay. Love seeing the familiar sites. around Lunenburg. Love Digby as well.. spent a couple of days watching humpbacks there. And swam with a beluga whale off the coast of Ingonish, Cape Breton.. all to say I have very, very warm memories of N.S. I agreed with your points and have posted about my sadness for those poor soldiers, their families and their loved ones. One point that Justin Trudeau made in his speech addresses (I think) your fear that innocence has been lost. He felt we weren't innocent but indeed knew Canada could be a target for terrorist attacks. I feel we are coming through this tragedy with strength and dignity, and for the most part, are showing greater love for our fellow man than we perhaps did before. I will be a little more aware as I walk in public places but overall, I will continue to trust and believe that there is more good than bad in our world and I will do my best to bring out that good in people. Patrice Vincent's parents mentioned the parents of their son's killer, saying they were in their thoughts as they, too, were suffering greatly. That generosity of spirit is truly magnificent. Okay, I'm rambling. On to your father's letter :)ReplyDelete
I really enjoyed your comment, Carol. I am very proud of how Canada and Canadians have handled this tragedy. I have a wonderful quote by Justin Trudeau on my desktop about what Canada is. I'm glad that you have great memories of Nova Scotia. How cool that you got to swim with a beluga whale off Ingonish! There are so many wonderful places in Nova Scotia. Have a great week!ReplyDelete
Great post Louise - I have Justin Trudeau's speech up on Facebook if you haven't listened to it. Hugs your sister and travelling bud :)ReplyDelete
Hey Barb! I'm off to Parkway to get my football numbers and go to the grocery store, but when I come back, I'll check out your Facebook. OMG, I am so behind in everything! What else is new, LOL?Delete