So, it’s been a couple weeks now. October 20th and 22nd, 2014. For Canadians – and especially those of us in the military – those dates will remain infamous in their connotations.
Corporal Nathan Cirillo and Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent.
THOSE are the names that need to live on. Not those of any perpetrators.
Their tragic endings are most unfortunate. The recent spate of occurrences are having drastic consequences on us as a society. Granted, many more have perished needlessly in previous incidents around the world – the London subway attacks in July of 2005, the 2008 attacks in Mumbai, India, the 2014 knife attack at the train station in Kunming, China that killed or injured 176, and of course, 9-11.
But, as much as western media likes to thrive about it, it’s not about body count. It shouldn’t be. It’s about the impact that an incident has on a culture’s soul.
There are those of us, living in uniform, be it military, police, fire, etc., who have understood for years that this is the new reality of our world. That something fanatical-/terrorism-based hasn’t excessively happened in Canada previous to these occurrences is, honestly, surprising. People, society as a whole, like to keep their collective heads in the sand. We watch the nightly news, and we see all that’s wrong in the world, all the bad stuff that’s happening…somewhere else. Sure, we’ve had bad things happen here occasionally. The shootings of RCMP officers in Mayerthorpe, or more recently in Monction, are a case in point. The “lone wolf” actions (or “stray dogs” as they can be called as well, due to their misfit and seething nature leading them to find a home with fundamentalist propaganda) have always been on the fringes of the radar. But, we were fighting terrorists (there’s that word) “over there”, over in the sandbox – not on our pristine shores. The incidents earlier last month led people to wake up to the notion – yes, stuff like this can happen within our borders. Fanatical people, coming from overseas or our own citizens inspired from online groups, could do something like this, in peaceful, quiet, world-loving Canada. It was a shock to people to even have an understanding that this could occur.
I’ve had a tiresome couple of weeks with this (gawd, I need a good cigar!) New levels of caution are out there, especially for those living in uniform. Media coverage is running the gamut. Some news stories and stuff from both inside and outside of Canada – it’s amazing to see. While I don’t think it’s funny, I do laugh at the relative naivety of society as a whole – “in Canada??!!!?!” and “if it can happen in Canada, it can happen anywhere!”, etc.
Is religion to blame? Maybe yes, maybe no. I’d say – probably more yes than not; but not religion exactly – it’s the perversion of it by those wishing to control others. But…don’t put the blame on true religous believers of Islam. Who am I, or who are any of us, to judge others on that? Of course, similar to 9-11, I’ve heard many discuss how “the religion of Brotherly love” is leading to the recent unforgiveable slaughters of many innocent people. However – Christianity is no better (looking in historical context). Neither is nearly any other religion out there. In my mind, the overall history of organized religion is no better than any corrupt big business or mafia. Hell, as is oft quoted and discussed – many more people have died in humanity’s history solely due to religion and religious beliefs, than over all other geo-political reasons.
All I know is that Canadians as general, especially with this happening in the run-up to Remembrance Day on November 11th, are definitely more acutely aware of our pretty country not being invulnerable to such heinous acts. Something that some of us in uniform all knew and understood, but that with society’s blissful ignorance let “our guard down”, so to speak. The national consciousness has now somewhat woken up to these possibilities. Some will still choose to put their heads back in the sand. The rest of us will move forward, always “on guard for thee”, remembering those that have unfortunately been taken from us.
To our future tomorrows, and that there be many more…time to have some good cigars again.