Yesterday was an emotional day for Canadians, no question. It’s very hard for us to believe that anyone could hate us enough to wage war on our soil. After all, we’re Canadians, some of the nicest people on the planet!
All of the jokes, internet memes and cartoons are actually quite accurate. If you knock us down we will apologize for not getting out of your way fast enough. If you need help, we’ll be the first people there with shovels, screwdrivers, soldiers or even dog sleds if that’s what you need! We never pick a fight but we’ll always try to stop one. When we get asked to help out the traditional payment is a case of beer, and we’ll often bring our own! (Partly because ours is better than the Americans.)
The notion that terrorists would want to take a swing at Canada is inconceivable to me. What would be the benefit? We would just apologize for pissing them off and offer to help harvest their crops. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing or a good thing, it’s just the way we are and I like it.
It’s absolutely terrible that a young man lost his life. It is a real tragedy and I feel badly for his family and friends who will miss him dearly. The problem that I have with yesterday is the number of tweets or Facebook posts I read saying how Canada has been changed forever by the events of the day.
Why is yesterday’s tragedy any worse than the École Polytechnique massacre of 1989, where 28 people were shot or the Moncton killing spree last summer where RCMP officers were killed or the Mayerthorpe, Alberta tragedy in 2005 when a gunman shot and killed four RCMP officers who were just trying to do their job.
We need to not panic!
Just because this terrible tragedy occurred doesn’t mean that each of us is in danger of meeting an armed gunman the next time we go to the grocery store. The world has bad people in it, it always has, this is nothing new.
We need to teach our children to celebrate the good in the world, search for and find things that make the world a better place for everyone, not just for them or their neighbours, we need to raise a generation of strong, smart and kind children so that incidents like this will never happen again.
I really think that the best thing we can do right now is be extra nice, be extra Canadian. If we change our entire national identity because of one isolated incident, one disturbed individual then we will have lost far more than one soldier, we will have lost a global fight against bullies.
Today I will fly my flag at half-mast, polish up my dog sled, clean up my igloo, apologize to the person holding the door for me at the grocery store and then cook some moose for dinner because I am Canadian and I refuse to believe that most problems can’t be solved with kindness, decency and an Extra Large Double Double.