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As CBC said earlier this evening, “Canada will be different after today.”

My country has changed. My city has changed. I’ve changed. This morning at 10:00am I was in class, discussing Aristotle. To be more specific I was listening to my professor engage in an enlightening lecture about Aristotle and his relation to Plato.  At the end of the class as everyone packed up one of my HUMSCHUMS turned to my row of seats and said, “Have you been keeping up with the news? There was a shooting.”

At that moment I froze. I’ve always been sensitive about the topic of shootings. When I was in grade eight I attended a Youth Peace seminar where I heard the brother of Rachel Joy Scott, the first victim of the Columbine shooting, speak about his sister and her death.

That’s the first time I can remember having such a vivid reaction to the relation of a story about a shooting. When I was in grade nine a lockdown prompted me to return to my faith which I had been questioning.

I can remember where I was when I first heard about the Aurora shooting; I can hear the footage being played on the television as clear as a bell in my mind.  Today was the same…I will remember it forever. Events such as this have a way of sticking in my mind, no matter what.

Today was not Ottawa’s 9/11, today was in a class of its own. Never before has anything like this happened in Ottawa, never.  But then again, they say to never say never. As our Prime Minister said, “Canada is not immune to terror attacks.”

Living in the nation’s capital has always been exciting for me, today that changed. Today, Ottawa became a reality – its stance as our nation’s capital became real.  We stand united as a country, as a people, together – the true North strong and free still stands tall.

Today shook me to the core. It scared me. On my way home CFRA radio played a clip of audio from today; as I drove down the rode the sounds of ambulance sirens, police car alarms, yelling, and shouts of “Get down!” echoed through my car.  Alone, I was afraid. My hands tightened on the wheel, my knuckles were white, I can’t believe that it happened to us.

When I set out to write this post I did so in a haze – I might be in shock, though my case would be mild. I don’t want to assume anything, say anything to antagonize people, I just need to process this day.

I am grateful for the outpouring of support from around the world and from the united stance presented by our politicians. My prayers are with the family of Cpl. Nathan Cirillo and with all of those affected by today’s events.

From the moment I arrived home I have been tuned into the CBC live-stream. Between that and phoning one of my friends who was in lockdown all day at OttawaU to calling family members to reassure them of my personal safety, I have been too busy to process everything.

At school I had three news websites open since I heard the news, I went through classes, took notes even, but my heart was in my throat.

This hurts.

This is wrong.


We’ll never get an answer.  That’s part of the power of these sorts of actions – we wonder and devote so much time to trying to “figure” everything out that we sometimes lose sight of who we are. Luckily, today Canadians stood united.

We stood tall. We are still standing together…we are STRONG!

“We will never be intimidated,” said Stephen Harper this evening as he addressed the nation. I agree wholeheartedly Prime Minister; we will not be so easily quieted and beaten down. We will remain #OttawaStrong!

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