Thursday, October 23, 2014
There is a nobility to the task of being an honor guard at a memorial to the fallen.It is a way to remember the sacrifice of those whom came before, of those who were willing to die so that future generations could live.
One of those men was Cpl. Nathan Cirillo. He was one of three soldiers guarding Canada's War memorial in Ottawa when he was shot down by a craven jihadi, a Canadian named Michael Zehaf-Bibeau who converted to Islam.
After murdering Cpl. Cirillo, he ran into the Canadian Parliament where he was eventually gunned down.
And for those who favor gun confiscation, members of Parliament said they owed their lives to Kevin Vickers, who fatally shot Zehaf-Bibeau just outside the caucus rooms where lawmakers were barricading themselves.
This is the second recent attack on Canada's soldiers by local Muslims. Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent. a 28-year veteran was struck and killed and a second soldier injured by a Canadian jihadi, Martin “Ahmad” Rouleau in Quebec who ran into them with his car just two days ago.
The Islamic State has called on Muslims to launch attacks in Western countries that have joined the U.S.-led coalition to combat them.
The stories of both Zehaf-Bibeau and Rouleau bear striking similarities. Both were converts to Islam and known to Canada's counter terrorism forces. Both were a product of radical Imams in Saudi-funded mosques and both had their passports revoked after it became known they had been in contact with ISIS, yet they were still allowed to roam free.
Canada, the U.S., and other countries are going to have to take a serious look at what they've been allowing to occur in their countries. These will not be the last attacks.
Canada's PM Stephen Harper, as usual, rose to the occasion. Speaking to the nation on television, he said simply that the attacks were an attempt to intimidate Canada. "Let there be no mistake", he said. "We will not be intimidated. Canada will never be intimidated."
Unfortunately, own President Barack Obama lacked that insight, referring to the attacks as 'senseless violence.'
There was nothing senseless about it. Terrorism doesn't come out of nowhere, nor is it mindless. It is a tactic designed to achieve certain goals, no more no less. Only someone willfully blind or deliberately dissembling would think otherwise.
I doubt PM Harper is in either of those two categories, and I think Canada's eyes have been opened.
There is one other small silver lining here. As Cpl. Cirillo lay dying, not only did his two comrades stand by him, but Margaret Lerhe, a nurse on her way to work at the Elizabeth Bruyere Hospital and Barbara Winters, a lawyer and a former member of the Canadian Forces Naval Reserve heard the gunshots and ran towards them instead of away from them and joined the two soldiers to work as a team in desperately trying to keep Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, who was still conscious alive.
Aside from trying to staunch the bleeding with compresses, they comforted him, telling him how proud they were of him, how brave he was and how loved.
In the end he died in their arms, but not before taking that final bit of comfort with him as he left this earth.
If a warrior has to die, could there be a better way to make the passage?