Ottawa, October 23 (CINEWS): Canadians came together for a anniversary on Parliament Hill on Thursday to remember two soldiers who died on home soil last October in separate attacks that sent the country into panic mode.
The deaths of Cpl. Nathan Cirillo and Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent were remembered.
Cirillo was shot and killed on Oct. 22, 2014 while standing ceremonial guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Solider. The gunman then stormed Parliament Hill’s Centre Block firing dozens of shots before he was shot dead.
Two days earlier in another act of terror Martin Couture-Rouleau drove his car into two soldiers in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que., killing Vincent. Police said Couture-Rouleau was a radicalized Quebec man who had been on the RCMP’s radar.
“Last October, many people said Canada would never be the same,” said Canada’s Govenor General David Johnston said. “But I don’t think Canada changed forever. Canadians are a caring, and a courageous people. This is who we are and that will not change.”
Thursday’s ceremony drew a large crowd to Parliament Hill, which included the families of Cirillo and Vincent, prime minister-designate Justin Trudeau and outgoing Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
Harper and Trudeau participated in a wreath-laying ceremony together, along with Johnston, Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson and Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Jonathan Vance.
The ceremony included a 21-gun salute, two minutes of silence and a flypast by four CF-18 fighter jets.
Harper said in a statement that Thursday was a day to pay tribute to all the first responders who risked their safety to stop the brazen attack.
“It was inspiring to see how Canadians came together in the aftermath of these attacks, offering each other support, condemning terrorism, and showing the courage and resolve that make our country great,” he said.
Trudeau said Canadians will continue to help and protect each other, pointing to Canada’s veterans and military personnel.
“We will not allow threats to shape us, nor bow to those who mean to undermine our values and way of life,” he said in a statement, “We will not allow threats to shape us, nor bow to those who mean to undermine our values and way of life,” he said in a statement. “Canadians are kind and generous, open-minded, and optimistic.”