You see this week has been pretty busy for Lady Bear and myself. It's been busy for lots of folks where we both work. We live and work in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
|Bruce MacKinnon's cartoon from the Chronicle Herald Oct. 23 |
(Bruce MacKinnon/Halifax Chronicle Herald) - used without permission
Fuck - this was now officially a bad day.
I left them, got back to my computer and googled the news. First headline showing up was that the shooter had entered into Parliament.
Fuck - this was now a really bad day.
I e-mailed Lady Bear and waited until she got back to me. She last spoke with me at 0930 hours. She had two meetings that morning. There was a real possibility that she had one at center block. Had one of her two meetings been on the Hill she would have been there - in person. Ontos who works with me, came up to my desk and asked if Lady Bear was ok.
When Lady Bear got back to me (aprox 1030 hrs) she said she was safe and she had just heard about the shootings. During our talk as the events unfolded she said: 'I would be freaking out if you had gotten that job on the hill.' History lesson: A few months back I was up for two jobs. One is the current one I have the other was security at Parliament Hill.
It could have been worse.
The shooter could have stayed at the memorial and kept shooting everyone in sight instead of making a final run into Parliament. He could have killed Parliament staff or security personmel before going down. He could have killed a second person...
It could have been better.
Cpl Cirillo could have lived. Nathan could be still be expected to join his family for the Winter Holidays. The shooter could have missed. The shooter could have simply not done...
On Monday WO Vincent was killed. Patrice could have lived. The driver could have missed the two soldiers. The driver could have simply decided to not...
It could have been something else.
In the Royal Navy there are toasts for every day of the week. For Wednesday it's written (before the political correct changes) and said by sailors as such: 'Ourselves (as no one else is likely to be concerned for us!).
This past Wednesday - that toast was in error. Everyone was concerned.
Rememberance Day is fast approaching. In the Bear house, it is the most revered day of the year. It is never missed. Lady Bear didn't even blink when I told her: 'I could miss every birthday and holiday but I never miss November 11th.' Rememberance Day is about all those who will forever miss birthdays and holidays.
Lady Bear has always supported this. She a wonderful woman and brilliant person. No matter which side won, who passed away, or who was right... someone is gone. Forever. It happens and it's sad.
In 18 days there will be one more to the list of names. At least one more person will have a vested interest, a personal connection to Rememberance Day.
The folks and media will say and do all sorts of things. Everything that's need to be done has been done minus one thing:
Taking one single minute of silence when it's... expected, no... due?
The words are missing right now. The fallen do not expect, they are not here anymore. It's not due to them, as they did not charge us for their deaths... the words are not here because they are hard to find.
The words are lost but the deed is still... needed?
The silence is still there.
If your family has yet to be touched by these losses, please respect those around you when they do decide (could that be the word...respect... maybe?) to pay the cost of a minute of silence.
I'd like to close as I describe my favorite War Memorial scuplted by Walter Allward (1876-1955) found in the center of Stratford, Ontario. It is not his most famous cenotaph but I find it to be my favorite of his work.
There are two robed men with their backs to each other. Walking away from the other, one is bent and broken. He drags a broken sword seemingly to large to him to swing. His robes are worn and his head is hooded. The other man stands upright, his chin jutted forward looking upwards to some invisible and distant horizon. Yet he is tired, his face a mask of exhaustion. He is done but he still stands strong.