Instead, I watched the loading of the hearse with the casket and thought of his grieving mothers, sisters and extended family. I got off Twitter, since the partisan vitriol was awful, and had to stop following several people who insisted in using this moment for political points.
They also had a ceremony to place two new ceremonial guards outside the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, which had been closed since the shooting took place there. Two brave young men stood in their kilts, with much pride and respect from those who were able to be there.
The images of people lining the highway at 416 were wonderful. Traffic stopped. People stood quietly as the funeral cortege passed. Citizens, soldiers, and firefighters standing atop their vehicles, all with flags raised, lined the bridges along the Highway of Heroes. Despite some high-profile American TV personalities; e.g., Rosie O’Donnell, criticising our Canadian solidarity, all of my American blog friends were sympathetic, since we support our soldiers. This could happen in any place, at any time. Our men and women in uniform are easy targets.
The Hamilton Tiger-cats loaned Ottawa RedBlacks football team their massive, largest in the world, Canada flag. Hundreds of people (150) were on the field holding it up. They didn't have someone in to sing our National Anthem, the crowd all came together to sing. They united the crowd, who felt good to be together in one place, with seatmates and friends beside them.
I was so proud of the way our Nation responded. From the moment Cpl. Cirillo's body left the funeral home in Ottawa, to where he was welcomed home in Hamilton at 7:00 p.m. or so, he was honoured and recognized. It was something like a 6-hour trip, and people waited on bridges for hours until they passed.
Thank you to Canadians & international friends for the messages of solidarity after the tragic loss of Cpl N Cirillo.
The @OPP_ER Tweeted updates of the location of the funeral cortege.
Citizens posted photos of their progress: like this amazing scene.
How can this not make you proud to be Canadian? #highwayofheroes
When they arrived in Hamilton, there was thanks from that city:
Hamilton Police (@HamiltonPolice):
Thank You #HamOnt & everyone in #Canada & world for standing united as #Canadian hero #NathanCirillo was brought home #highwayofheroes
It was another day for reflection. People made sure that they didn't forget Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent, similarly killed this past week by someone else with mental health issues.
In the meantime, the perpetrator, someone who knew him has reported, had mental health issues, as well as a $160/day heroin addiction.
In the meantime, horrific shootings in California, two deputies killed, two injured.
And in a Washington H.S., another crazy incident. I am saddened by it all.
Hold fast to family.