October 22: A day Canadians will remember

His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of Canada gestures towards Parliament Hill during a speech at the Commemoration of the Events of October 2014 ceremony at the National War Memorial in Ottawa, Ontario on October 22, 2015. Photo: Corporal Chase Miller, Canadian Forces Support Unit (Ottawa) - Imaging Services SU11-2015-1604-007


In a solemn ceremony filled with Canadian military tradition, it was the sounds that stood out.

On October 22, the assault on Parliament Hill and sacrifices of Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent and Corporal Nathan Cirillo one-year ago were marked in a public ceremony at the National War Memorial in Ottawa.

The booming 21-gun salute, CF-18 jets flying in the missing man formation, and the bugler’s “Last Post”, but what was heard above all of these was the respectful silence of the hundreds of citizens attending the ceremony along with the families and friends of WO Vincent and Cpl Cirillo, dignitaries, and CAF members.

“It’s been one year. We continue to breathe, we continue to heal … on this painful anniversary,” said Governor General David Johnston.

“While there is hatred in this world, there is also great compassion. We recall, with thanksgiving, the work of the first responders—police, ambulance, parliamentary security, military personnel, passersby—all at risk to themselves, to give care and concern, and offering signs of hope and reassurance in a dark and unsettling time,” said Brigadier-General Guy Chapdelaine, CF Chaplin General.

Wreaths were laid at the memorial, two minutes of silence were observed. A plaque to commemorate Cpl Cirillo’s life was unveiled in a private ceremony at the southeast side of the memorial site following the public ceremony. A plaque to commemorate WO Vincent will be unveiled in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu in 2016.

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