Thursday, October 23, 2014

Stay strong, Ottawa

I always liked the line in our national anthem that proclaims Canada to be the "True North strong and free." I find that line to be one of the best descriptions of this country of ours. Ours is a vast northern nation: beautiful, peaceful and safe. I've been lucky enough to see every province (Manitoba is a technicality since I've only been to the Winnipeg airport). No matter where I go, I always feel safe and proud of this wonderful nation.

Yesterday was an odd day for me. I didn't feel well enough to go to work, since I was suffering from severe asthma for the first time in years. It was supposed to be a happy day for my family, since we went for an ultrasound to see the first images of our second child. We were able to tell my little girl she was going to be a big sister. Our happiness was tempered, of course, by the shock of seeing our city being targeted of a pointless and cowardly act of terrorism.

When the dust settled and calm was restored, I still had a hard time trying to sort through what I was feeling. I have long had a love/hate relationship with this city. It is a beautiful city, to be sure, and a wonderful place to raise a family. Despite its sometimes maddeningly bureaucratic ways, Ottawa is still a city of fine people who value our democracy in ways few others in Canada can appreciate. Come to Ottawa on Nov. 11 and you will see the country's largest Remembrance Day gathering at our war memorial. In many ways, Ottawans see themselves as the torch bearers for our democracy. Talk to anyone from Ottawa. You will not likely find a more informed and patriotic Canadian.

I felt angry, scared and confused yesterday. I felt sad for the families of the two soldiers who lost their lives this week, Cpl. Nathan Cirillo and Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent. Today, I just feel like getting on with my day. I thought about the best way to do that and I decided to do what I love to do: blog.

I am privileged to be able to live in a country where I can speak my mind and be free to live my life as I see fit. And I feel equally lucky to be free to blog about something as inconsequential in the grand scheme of things as railways.

So, rather than dwell on what happened yesterday, let's continue to share ideas and thoughts about our shared passion. Let's continue to live our lives and not be intimidated. Let's live that lyric, strong and free.

For this week's regular post, please click here.

1 comment:

Eric said...

Well put, Michael. A turbulent and tempestuous day in the nation's capital. Better days ahead.