That’s a photo of Cpl. Nathan Cirillo’s dogs waiting for him to come home. Unfortunately, he’s not coming home. Not today. Not ever.
He was near the end of an hour’s duty standing honor guard at the foremost monument to his nation’s fallen soldiers, the granite and bronze National War Memorial in central Ottawa, when a gunman shot and fatally wounded him on Wednesday morning. He was a barrel-chested young man with a ready smile, a gym buff with a fondness for rescue dogs, and the very proud father of a sandy-haired boy who had just started kindergarten. (NY Times)
And be sure not to miss this short NBC news segment that ran last night on Canada’s tribute to Cpl Cirillo. As a fellow Canadian, I was MOVED but the response.
And Michael Petrou captures the mood in his NY Times Op-Ed essay titled Shattering the Peace on Parliament Hill:
HERE in Canada’s capital, Parliament Hill is about as majestic as public spaces get. The Parliament buildings, somber and gothic, push into the sky above the river. An expanse of green lawn slopes down to Wellington Street with its tourists and a hot dog vendor. The whole place would be imposing if the locals treated it with deference. But we don’t. There’s no security stopping pedestrians from getting onto the hill. On any given day you’re likely to find people on the lawn playing soccer or doing yoga. There are almost always protesters of some sort — usually polite and not that obtrusive. Activists calling for marijuana legalization occasionally gather to smoke pot. I’ve always been proud of the relaxed feel of the place, its accessibility and, frankly, its lack of visible security. It fits with my ideal of a government that isn’t separate from or above the people it serves. You don’t see portraits of our prime minister in Canadian schools or public buildings, either. After all, he’s not our head of state, and the government is Her Majesty’s; he merely runs it. On Wednesday, a gunman exploited this openness at the heart of Canada’s democracy. After murdering the Canadian soldier Cpl. Nathan Cirillo at the nearby National War Memorial, he ran into the main Parliament building and was just outside members’ caucus rooms when he was shot dead
[...]As for Parliament Hill, it and downtown Ottawa had a far less placid atmosphere Wednesday. There were hundreds of armed men and women, dogs, sirens and, briefly, the faint smell of gunpowder. And yet the police were professional and respectful. Onlookers were calm. The hill may never fully return to what it was before, but I hope it comes close. Locked gates would seem out of place here.