Terrorists are Nothing like our Soldiers

Protecting our True North

Protecting our True North

Today is cold and overcast, a typical autumn day in Canada. In the early morning hours, one of our soldiers, Nathan Cirillo, 24, woke up to another day of work in Ottawa, our country's capital.

By nine o'clock he's on the job guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. A reservist from Hamilton, Ontario he is a member of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. He's in uniform, standing tall and looking sharp, his gun by his side. His gun is not loaded.

Shortly after 9:30 a.m., two shots ring out and Nathan drops to the ground. The shooter, nose and mouth covered with a kerchief, raises his arms in triumph. Nathan is alive when paramedics arrive and start CPR. I'm hoping and praying he survives, but Nathan dies later in hospital.

I'm struck by the difference between the soldier and the terrorist. I can picture Nathan standing guard, his head held high. And why shouldn't he hold his head high? Canadians are proud of their soldiers, our defenders of democracy and international keepers of peace.
Brave men and women putting their lives on the line to protect our freedom.

The terrorist, on the other hand, is a bully with a gun. The coward hiding behind his kerchief. He doesn't take responsibility for his failures, because he's too busy blaming the world. His cause is born of evil, and motivated by hate.

There is a common theme among terrorists. They are thugs and bullies using violence to get their own way. Cowards, they cover their faces as they attack the defenceless with a ruthless fervour, leaving the blood of innocents in their wake. No compromise, no mediation, no peace. The terrorists believe they are winning, because they are effective in creating terror in the hearts of all people.

What they don't know, is that we won't live in a state of paralyzed dread for much longer. The terror will turn to anger and we will not bend. We will rise up. I only hope we can stand like our brave soldiers, in our true north, strong and free.

Hate and Forgiveness



Forgive and Accept

I saw you through the window screen, drying dishes. “Hi, how are you?” I asked.

There was the briefest of glances before you said, “I don’t want to talk to you”. You spoke each word slowly and clearly, tightly controlling the hate you felt for me. You raised your eyes to meet mine and I recoiled from the darkness I saw there. All the hate and fury bubbling just below the surface, waiting for a release from which there was no return.

My heart finally understood what my head always knew; I was dead to you and always would be. My heart forgave you the day I apologized to you. Something wonderful happens when you give forgiveness, you receive peace even if your forgiveness is not accepted. I naïvely expected you to do the same but my pain never crossed your mind.

I will stop trying to extend the olive branch and leave you to your hate. You are the only one who can conquer it, and I hope you do before it robs you of all the joy you could be experiencing.

May you find the path that leads you out of darkness and into peace.