"I will be holding my kids extra tight tonight. I live in Canada's capital city and the city is on lockdown after gunfire downtown and an attack on our Parliament; my husband is on lockdown at work and my kids are on lockdown at school. I am trying to take some comfort from our pussy cat Bubbles as I'm anxiously waiting for my family to come home and I can hold them in my arms."
|Cpl. Nathan Cirillo on the left guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier|
(photo from CBC footage)
After the fatal shooting at the Cenotaph, the assailant drove the short distance to our Parliament Hill. He managed to enter the Parliament Buildings and was eventually killed in a barrage of gunfire from security and RCMP (our national police service, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police). The city remained in lockdown for many hours until city police and RCMP officers decided their search for a rumoured second shooter was futile.
There has been much discussion in the last year about whether this was in fact a terrorist act or simply the act of a confused man with a criminal record, including drug-related charges, and a history of mental illness, who was living in a shelter and frustrated with his difficulty in obtaining a passport to go to the Middle East. The assailant was born in Canada but had family from Libya.
|Screen shot from the video made by the shooter in Ottawa|
On November 11, a few short weeks after last year's shooting, we attended the Remebrance Day ceremony at our children's middle school; our daughter was in the school choir. I wore my Flower Power bracelet, my pink and red mother-daughter bracelet with two red poppies, a symbol for remembrance. Although we have attended many Remembrance Day assemblies at schools over the years, last year's ceremony was particularly emotional because of those very recent events. When I read these words in the program, "If we are to maintain our peace and freedom, we must always remember," and saw this picture of a dove with an olive branch, I decided to buy the "Dove of Peace" dangle, as a reminder.
Taylor's vocal class singing Amazing Grace November 11, 2015
Our children are in high school now, and last week we attended a Remembrance Day ceremony at our daughter's high school, because her vocal class was performing. It was a very moving service, alternating between her class singing and students reading letters sent home to families and sweethearts in Canada. They were from soldiers in the Boer War, World War I, World War II, the Korean War, and most recently those serving in Afghanistan, as well as Canadian troops involved in peace-keeping missions around the world. The "Dove of Peace" represents my hope for peace in this crazy world. That seems appropriate given the latest events around the world, including Paris and Beirut.
|The dove of peace on my Love Blooms Here bracelet|
YouTube video of "Let there be peace on earth"