Canada handles terrorist attacks with courage

After hearing the news Oct. 22 about a soldier in my home country being shot point-blank in the chest, I immediately wanted nothing more than to be home with my family.

A terrorist walked up to Cpl. Nathan Cirillo and shot him right in the chest, then celebrated by raising his hands in “success” before entering the Parliament building in Ottawa.

Cirillo was standing guard on Parliament Hill for one of the most truthful statues – the lone gunman. This statue was a part of the National War Memorial for Canada and represented a soldier who was shot and killed, but no one knew who he was.

Another soldier was killed. The Quebec soldier was killed no more than two days before in a hit-and-run attack by another terrorist.

Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent was walking through a parking lot when he was hit. Another soldier with him thankfully survived with only a few injuries.

Because of these attacks soldiers are being ordered to not be in uniform in public unless they are going to and from work.

I know it is for their safety but it saddens me that the people who lay their lives down so we can have a better life do not get to wear their uniforms proudly.

These terrorist attacks occurred because of anti-terrorism military decisions made by the government.

The whole ordeal is sickening and outrageous, but Canada has handled the threats and attacks with strength and grace.

We decided to rally together as a country and remember them. A week-long memorial service for the two fallen soldiers has been a remarkable highlight as to how Canada can grow while remaining true to who we are.

There is a 500-km highway that runs along Lake Ontario called the Highway of Heroes. At every overpass you can see police officers, firefighters, Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and citizens gathered with flags and poppies to honor those who have fallen.

Soldiers who have given their lives for the country are given a memorial as they are brought home to their families to be laid to rest.

When Cirillo was being transported home, cars were pulled over on the sides of the road and people filled the overpasses to pay him the tribute he deserves.

“We are not afraid, we are strong,” is a slogan Ottawa has been saying to show these attacks will not discourage or change the course of action the government wishes to take. And to that, I am proud to be Canadian.

BECKY HILKER

[email protected]