Office of Councillor Jeff Leiper, Kitchissippi Ward, Ottawa | (613) 580-2485  |
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Our community remembers October 22

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It was a privilege and honour this morning to participate in the ceremony remembering the events of last October. For those of us in Ottawa, it was particularly moving to remember the sacrifice of Cpl. Nathan Cirillo.

There are days in our lives that stand out vividly, and October 22, 2014 will be one of those for me. I was locking up my bicycle, ready to knock my first door when a message from one of my team cautioned that something was going on downtown, and to shut down the campaign. Somehow, over the course of the day, many of us wound up at my campaign headquarters on Somerset. There was nothing, really, to do. I was satisfied that Nick, at school relatively nearby, was in good hands and doing fine - and that he had a way home. Over the course of the afternoon, hundreds of people walked by on their way home, some popping in to chat or use the washroom and grab a drink. Natalie and other campaign family also filtered in, and we streamed the CBC TV news feed. Somehow, we ended up ordering food, and it was late in the evening before we all dispersed. We just needed, I think, to be with people and deal with the stress of the day's events, to let that sink in.

Today, His Excellency the Governor General spoke to his view that Canada hasn't changed forever in the wake of those events. I agree. We came together as a community to process what was going on. When the event had played itself out, our community mourned. Today, we remembered. But we continue to be the same community we were before. We gather. We share. We help. Our neighbours and friends give us courage when we need it, and support and friendship when those are required. Spending October 22, 2014 in Kitchissippi, surrounded by friends and neighbours all day, was a reminder for me that day of why I wanted to take on this role. Today's ceremony was another.

Take pause today. Remember Cpl. Cirillo. Remember the residents and our first responders who demonstrated so much courage and generosity. And remember to be good to one another, like we were that terrible October day.

Posted October 22, 2015