We were out of town last week when the Ottawa shootings happened. I wrote a little bit about how the shootings made me feel for BlogHer. I followed the #MyOttawa and #OttawaStrong hashtags on Twitter.
On television and online I saw images and video people visiting the War Memorial and it bothered me that I couldn't be there. We arrived home Saturday and Sunday morning we went downtown. To the War Memorial, to show our respect to what happened there and to the soliders who had taken up the ceremonial guard. To be present and bear witness. We happened to to get there moments before the changing of the guard.
From there we walked to Parliament Hill. Because it's open. Because we could.
I wasn't prepared for how I would feel seeing the flowers and the notes left for Cpr. Nathan Cirillo. I thought the crowd would be smaller on Sunday. It wasn't.
I'm still processing everything from last week but I know this — I hope I always live in Canada where a child can run carefree ahead of her parents on the lawn of Parliament.