Today Hannah and I were blessed to participate in a beautiful Canadian tradition. When Canada loses a soldier in action their body travels down the ‘Highway of Heroes’ on it’s way to Toronto. How moving to be part of such a special ceremony and surround ourselves with proud Canadians trying each in their own small way to say ‘thank you.’
Wednesday a lone gunman took the life of an unarmed soldier in Ottawa (our Nation’s Capital) who was guarding a treasured Canadian monument.
Today that soldier, Cpl Cirillo’s body travelled from Ottawa to Hamilton where he will be laid to rest on Monday. Each and every overpass of the 7+ hour drive his honour guard took, looked like the one you see in my first picture as Canadians stood to pay their respects to one who selflessly gave his life for ours. He is one of many over the years who have done this and to each and every one of them I am thankful. Today I had an opportunity to say ‘thank you’ and to use this as a time to begin introducing such moments of respect and thankfulness to Hannah.
She doesn’t really know what was going on so I explained to her today we had an opportunity to say ‘thank you’ to someone who did good things for Canada. In time she would learn more (we talked in more detail on our way home) but truly, this was a thankful time.
In the end our wait was about 2 1/2 hours but we chatted, she collected rocks and, enjoyed more than one piece of candy from a sweet senior standing near us. LOL – grandparents = candy in pockets! It cooled off by the end and a sweet lady shared her blanket with Hannah who quickly ‘made a cocoon.’
From the moment we arrived and joined those already waiting there was a steady stream of honking from those who travelled the highway below us who in their own way saying, ‘Thank you’ and I must say, I had forgotten this part and was constantly reminded just how important this tradition is to all Canadians. We are blessed to live close enough to participate in this tradition.
As the motorcade came into sight it was my sweet girl who quietly began to sing ‘Oh Canada’ and soon others around us joined in. What a precious moment!
I couldn’t hear what Hannah was saying when we were there but the camera captured her sweet, innocent remarks. Sadly she will all too soon learn the truth of why we were there but for this moment she was there with the innocent, thankful heart of a 5yo who was just excited to see police cars.
Cpl. Cirillo’s mother was riding in the motorcade and I can only imagine what this support meant to her in her grief as every single km of their ride was with motorists pulled off the side of the road, standing outside their cars and covering each overpass in respect for the gift her child gave Canada on Wednesday.
Thank you Cpl. Cirillo. Canada thanks you.
And friends, I cannot help but think of One who gave His life for us over 2000 years ago. If only we as a country and those around the world showed such respect, love and thankfulness for Him too.
John 3: 16 – 18 “This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person’s failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him.’ (The Message)
Thank you God for sending your Son.