By Brendon Crossman
Just before 10 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 22, all eyes turned to our nation’s capital. Our hearts ached for those involved and our thoughts and prayers were with the victims. Hours later, when the chaos dissipated and reports were confirmed, reality set in – twice in the span of three days we had lost a soldier on home soil.
Already known for our kindness, that day we began to show the world our strength.
In the days and weeks since, there have been passionate anthems sung by tens of thousands of people on both sides of the 49th parallel. There have been moments of silence and stories of heroism, bravery and courage – notably, all characteristics of the soldiers who serve and have served our country.
As Canadians, we united. We honoured. We thanked. We remembered.
Though they are a cruel reminder of the realities our soldiers face daily, at home and abroad, the deaths of Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent and Cpl. Nathan Cirillo were not in vein.
They have unveiled a newfound respect and understanding of what it means to serve our country. Canadians from every generation, race and religious background have again banded together to stand united.
We gathered along the Highway of Heroes. We prayed together at places of worship. We silently stood to remember at rinks across our nation.
Every year on Nov. 11 we pause to remember. We count our blessings, honour those who have sacrificed their lives for our freedom and recognize the brave men and women who continue to stand on guard for thee.
We wear poppies, attend ceremonies and proudly display our Canadian flags.
But this Remembrance Day feels different. It feels like this year we truly understand just how lucky we are to call Canada our home and native land.
Lest we forget.