Monday, December 22, 2014

Newsmaker Soldiers

From the G & M:
"Soldiers murdered on home soil chosen as Canada’s Newsmaker of the Year"

Two Canadians killed in cold blood on home soil for simply wearing a soldier’s uniform have been selected the country’s Newsmaker of the Year for 2014. Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent and Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, whose senseless murders in October shook the country, were the top choice of editors and news directors surveyed by The Canadian Press.  “It’s very sad but very deserved,” Vincent’s eldest sister Louise Vincent said in her first interview since his funeral. “First it was a family death and after that we realized that his death was not only ours.” Indeed, the two unsuspecting and unarmed soldiers quickly became household names for reasons Canadians could barely fathom.
Vincent, 53, described as a quiet, determined person who was always looking to help others, died Oct. 20 after a “radicalized” Martin Rouleau, 25, deliberately ran him down in a parking lot in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que. Two days later, with the country struggling to process Vincent’s death, terror gripped the nation’s capital when Michael Zehaf Bibeau shot Cirillo, 24, in the back before storming Parliament Hill and dying in a hail of bullets. The photogenic, dog-loving reservist had been quietly standing ceremonial guard with an unloaded weapon at the Tomb of the Unknown soldier when he was attacked without warning. Once again, Canadians were dismayed and saddened at the prospect of a soldier killed on home soil — this time someone who might have looked like a “big tough man” but was, as a cousin said, “such a kid at heart.” Photographs of Cirillo’s dogs poking their heads from beneath the fence of the family home in Hamilton only added to the palpable grief.
Even before his state-like funeral, Canadians learned of the valiant efforts to save and comfort the dying father of a five-year-old boy. “You are so loved,” lawyer Barbara Winters said she repeatedly told him. In scenes not seen since the repatriation of soldiers killed in Afghanistan, thousands of Canadians lined the “Highway of Heroes” to show support for the two men. “These two men did not ask to be in the news,” said Fred Hutton, news director with VOCM in St. John’s. “They were random victims who were thrust into the spotlight by deranged individuals who made us all question our own safety.” Michel Lorrain, general director with Cogeco nouvelles in Montreal, noted in his survey comments how rare it is in Canadian history for soldiers to be killed outside of a combat mission. Their deaths, said Murray Guy, managing editor of the Times and Transcript in Moncton, N.B., symbolized Canada’s “sudden loss of innocence in a world where we thought we were all detached from the dark threat of terror that has plagued so many seemingly so far away.” In all, Cirillo and Vincent picked up 23 of the 85 votes cast to be named 2014 Newsmaker. Cirillo’s still-grieving family refused to comment but Louise Vincent called the result a show of respect for the depths of their sacrifice.

^ While I am proud (as a Canadian) that the ordinary people picked the soldiers it is still very tragic and sad that they had to be killed for the Canadian military and their everyday sacrifices to be recognized by the nation. ^


http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/soldiers-killed-on-home-soil-chosen-as-canadas-newsmaker-of-the-year/article22170991/
 

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