Canada we had a rough day...

I don’t like to write about these things.  When tragedy strikes the volume tends to get ratcheted up to 100 and the posts and tweets flow.

I hate being part of the noise.  But I’m quietly angry.  I’m quietly sad.  I wear my patriotism within my heart and tonight  my heart aches for the country I so love.  Tonight I think maybe none of us should be silent.

The rampage of a lunatic today cost a brave soldier his life and we should be eternally grateful to Nathan Cirillo for his service to this country.

The Ottawa Police, the RCMP and Hill Police conducted themselves well bringing a swift conclusion to what could have been a much bigger tragedy.  We should be proud of them too and confident in the fact that we have such fantastic institutions choke full of men and women who are ready to run towards the danger.

Tonight we grieve.  We grieve for our fallen son.  We grieve for a small portion of our innocence lost.

But as we grieve we must remain strong.  We must remain committed to our democracy, to our fundamental rights and preserving the things that make this country so great.

Because while today was a sad day it should also be the source of tremendous pride for us Canadians.  We should be proud that we accepted this sad occasion for what it was, that we didn’t let it become a tabloid obsession.  We should be proud that our media provided measured coverage that opted for fact over hyperbole.  We should be proud of that look we had in our eyes when greeted each other through the day - we acknowledge the sadness but we carried on.

The next few days will likely be some of the toughest we’ve faced as a nation in recent memory.  There will be talks of terrorists, the war measures act and who knows what else.  We will face a cross roads that will define where we go as a nation and when I look around at the Canadian people I saw today I have great hope that when the hard road is traveled we will remain the true north strong and free.