Ottawa #OttawaStrong #CanadaStrong
I am still processing my thoughts and feelings on the tragic shooting that took place in our nation’s capital of Ottawa yesterday.
I first heard the news on Twitter and like many others, I could not believe it. Then, I feared for my family members and friends who live in and around the Ottawa area. I later found out they were all OK and a wave of relief washed over me. However, I was still on edge.
I thought this cannot be happening in our country. We pride ourselves on being one of the safest countries in the world. But in the last little while that fact has been proven to be untrue. The events that unfolded in Moncton this past June taught us that we are not immune. And just a few short days ago a two soldiers were targeted and one needlessly killed. These types of tragedies can happen here and sadly, probably will continue to do so. Unfortunately, it seems to be a way of life now.
As a person who suffers from anxiety, and for any person who suffers from mental illness, these tragedies can be very traumatizing. Some days it is hard enough to leave the house and go about our daily lives just like any other “normal” person. Tragic events like these make us second guess and analyze every little move we make. We fear for the next bad thing that is going to happen. It paralyzes us to the core. For instance, every time I get on a plane since 9/11 I cannot help but think what if? What if that person sitting next to me or a few rows ahead has other plans for us? It’s not only acts of terrorism that come across my mind. What if the engine fails? What if there is a fire? The scary thoughts continue to flood in.
I would be remiss if I did not say that I am scared to enter a mall or public place. I was just in the city following the Blissdom conference. Usually I enter a public place without a second thought. But the last few years with the media sensationalizing events such as these I cannot help but think about what could happen if someone entered this mall with a gun and thoughts of killing us all.
We should not have to feel fear every time we leave the house. But many of us do now. It is our right to be able to go to work and feel safe. To go to school and feel safe. To pop into the mall to do a bit of shopping and feel safe. To visit the library and feel safe. But lately, we are not safe anywhere.
However, I have decided that I will not let one person’s actions dictate my own. I will not let this and other acts of terror stop me from living my life. It is my life and I will live it free of fear. It is my right to feel safe in my own country, my own province and my own home. Yes, the thoughts will always be there. But I will take steps to fill my head with good thoughts. How there are way more good people out there than bad.
I will not think about the man who inflicted terror on our nation. He shall remain nameless as he does not deserve anymore attention.
Instead, I will think of the people who ran to Cpl. Nathan Cirillo’s side yesterday and tried to save him. I will think about our Sergeant-at-Arms Kevin Vickers and how he acted out of bravery to prevent more needless deaths. I will think of our brave Royal Canadian Mounted Police, city police service in Ottawa and around the country, as well as many other first responders who put themselves in the line of fire to help us each and everyday. They are the true heroes of this story.
My sincere condolences go out to Cpl. Nathan Cirillo’s family and friends. He will forever remain in our hearts and we thank him and his family for his service.
Canada is our country. My country. I am proud to live in my province and country. We will not live in fear of the next bad thing. We will continue on.
We are strong. #CanadaStrong