The Way I See It: Honouring the heroes

Michele Blais reflects on the tragic deaths of Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent and Cpl. Nathan Cirillo

Lest we forget. That men and women have given their lives for their country so that we can enjoy the freedoms and democracy that we do today.

Lest we forget.

That men and women continue to make this sacrifice for our country. Not only within death do they do that,  it is in their daily service to our country.

Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, a young father, a son, a friend, a soldier died while guarding the unknown soldier’s monument. The following is a quote from Rex Murphy, “To kill a soldier standing unarmed ceremonial guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was a bottomless cowardice and a perversion.

“If the soul of Canada has an abiding place it is here in the great hallowed War Memorial with the tomb in our capital city, a bugle call away from the chambers of our national deliberations. The murder of a fine, fit, friendly and unarmed Cpl. Nathan Cirillo was not a thoughtless act, instead it was soaked in callousness and contempt. The slaughter was meant to burn beyond the deed itself, to speak fundamental insult to the very ideas of honour, sacrifice and solidarity which are our military’s credo and our country’s ideals.

“The killer was a hateful brute, let us not name him, but today was not the damn killer’s. It produced a master counter example, the Sergeant-at-Arms Mr. Kevin Vickers. Mr. Vickers, the whole country is unanimous on all the matters that count — bravery, duty, selflessness, you are as good as they get. The office of Sergeant-at-Arms can never have been better filled. So as we mourn the soldier Cpl. Cirillo, let us honour the Sergeant Mr. Vickers; they encompass between them so much of what we Canadians choose to admire and love.”

In Quebec a soldier was killed in the parking lot of a recruitment centre, another act of cowardice. Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent was killed in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec.  These young men in the military accepted the risks they may face but I am sure did not expect to die in their home country, Canada, guarding a monument or innocently in a parking lot outside an office.

I watched Mr. Vickers in the house of commons receiving a standing ovation from the members of parliament; he didn’t blink, he didn’t change his facial expression, stoic, on guard ready to serve.

Our leaders are saying that we will not give over our freedoms for fear and this is so important for our leadership and for us as citizens. We are Canadians — proud, strong and free and we are a diverse group who have together built this country.  Our soldiers did not die so that our enemies infiltrate our decisions through our fearful thoughts and actions.

This is a sad time for our country, and worse for the families of the soldiers who died.  They have to live with the loss and sacrifice on a daily basis. Lest we forget.

As in any situation where we are confronted it is important not to give our national or personal power away.

It takes thousands of people to provide service to us in many forms so that we may enjoy this privileged life and freedoms. Service in many forms such as police, security, fire and emergency services, health care providers, educators, social workers, mental health and substance use workers, child care providers, government workers for our licences, taxes and customs officers.

Thank you to all the men and women who provide these services.  Thank you for the role you carry out in making our neighborhoods, our communities, province and country a great place to live.

Let us not forget.  Ever.

Michele Blais is a longtime columnist with The Morning Star, writing on a variety of issues and appearing every other Sunday. She has worked with families and children in the North Okanagan for the past 28 years.

Just Posted

Vernon Panthers roll to final four; Fulton Maroons eliminated

Panthers dispatch North Van’s Windsor Dukes in high school football quarterfinal; Maroons lose 46-0

Flavours abound at soft open for hard Coldstream cidery

Tony’s Craft Cidery is open for free taste tests all month, will have grand opening next spring

Vernon Vipers stymied in shootout

The Vipers fell 3-2 to the Langley Rivermen Friday night in their second shootout in as many games

Vernon firefighters snuff out basement fire in single-family home

The residents were not home at the time of the fire, which resulted in no injuries

Vernon firefighters, councillors push new trucks into service

Vernon Fire Rescue Services ceremony took place at Station 1 Saturday morning

VIDEO: B.C. couple creates three-storey ‘doggie mansion’ for their five pups

Group of seven, who Kylee Ryan has dubbed as the ‘wandering paws,’ have a neat setup in Jade City

MacLean says “Coach’s Corner is no more” following Cherry’s dismissal from Hockey Night

Cherry had singled out new immigrants in for not honouring Canada’s veterans and fallen soldiers

MacKinnon powers Avs to 5-4 OT win over Canucks

Vancouver battled back late to pick up single point

Dallas Smith, Terri Clark to perform on CP Holiday Train’s B.C. stops

Annual festive food bank fundraiser rolling across province from Dec. 11 to 17

Poole’s Land finale: Tofino’s legendary ‘hippie commune’ being dismantled

Series of land-use fines inspire owner Michael Poole to sell the roughly 20-acre property.

Port Alberni mom takes school district to court over Indigenous smudging, prayer in class

Candice Servatius, who is an evangelical Christian, is suing School District 70

Family of B.C. man killed in hit-and-run plead for tips, one year later

Cameron Kerr’s family says the driver and passengers tried to cover their tracks

Chilliwack family’s dog missing after using online pet-sitting service

Frankie the pit bull bolted and hit by a car shortly after drop off through

B.C. wildlife experts urge hunters to switch ammo to stop lead poisoning in birds

OWL, in Delta, is currently treating two eagles for lead poisoning

Most Read