Thursday, October 23, 2014

My Country

It is often difficult to communicate to others what it means to be a Canadian. I was born here and have spent most of my adult life serving in this country, but I always thank God for my 8 years of life in America. There is nothing like being away from home that helps you to see home with new eyes.

Yesterday was a hard day for us. The flagrant disrespect of all the ideals we hold to so happily as a country. The offensive murder of a young man. And the near greater tragedy of a gunman loose in our seat of government. But God in His mercy spared us from so much. And in the process, so much of that Canadian-ness came solidly, and quietly to the surface.

That spirit was caught in images like these.
A woman trying to breathe life into a dying soldier.  Supposedly just a passer-by who remembered her CPR training and ran into a terrible situation.

The news that a scepter-carrying, traditionally-dressed, 58-year old retired police officer shot and killed the murderer with his 9mm. Who would have thought the Sargeant-at-Arms was actually armed?

Peter Mansbridge. He should be given a medal, then shipped down to the United States for one year to read their news for them. On every US network. Peter was like a wise father in a major crisis, speaking calm to the nation even when it was not clear we should be calm. And he refused to speculate or deal in anything that was not a verified fact. That took a different kind of courage.

The Prime Minister. Poor Stephen Harper is always getting criticized for his lack of emotion, but that emotion was clearly seen in his calm and deliberate speech to the nation on television and even more so in his parliamentary address today.

Kevin Vickers. That same retired RCMP officer who had never shot his gun at any human before was back at work today carrying his scepter and donning his funny hat. How remarkably Canadian to watch him humbly walk into the House of Commons to a thunderous, three-minute standing ovation.

My country is not God’s country or the perfect country or the best country or any nonsense like that. But it is my country. And I am proud to be her citizen today.

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