A few months ago, actually what feels like years ago, I wrote about the price of silence and when it “isn’t golden”. But now as I sit at my computer after an absolutely tragic week for my country, I am not so sure how I feel about silence.
Silence was sitting at home with my family watching the news, events unfolding, hearts breaking. Silence was the minute at school on Thursday where we rose from our seats to observe the tragedies that have occurred. Silence was inside all Canadians this week.
But silence was not everywhere. Silence was not in the newsrooms on television, as they struggled to make sense of what happened. Silence was not at the NHL game where, though two American teams were playing, the crowd sang O’Canada. Silence was not what two Canadian soldiers died protecting.
I have always been proud to be Canadian, and this week I was reminded of the reason why. Because we are not silent about the things that matter, and we refuse to be. As our Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, said in his national address: Canada will never be intimidated.
The two attacks on Canadian soil have filled us with silence, but it was not silence that we responded with. It was not silence that trended #ottawastrong. It was not silence that caused thousands of people to go to the Highway of Heroes on Friday night, as Corporeal Nathan Cirillo’s body was returned to home.
It was not silence that did any of these things. It was the absence of it. Canada will never be intimidated, and neither will its people. As our national anthem states: Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
This week’s tragic events have shown me, as a proud Canadian, that it is not just me who stands on guard for Canada. It is my (over) 35 million other Canadians, as well. I stand on guard for them, they stand on guard for me. And together, we all stand on guard for Canada.