Days after the most recent attack on Canada’s military officials, attacks that were random and said to be terrorism, massive crowds still gather and stand at Parliament Hill in Canada to mourn the fallen soldier. As the body of soldier, Corporal Nathan Cirillo, who was killed on Wednesday by a radical gunman, was returned home to Hamilton, Ontario a massive crowd of Canadians also lined the streets, known as the “Highway of Heroes,” a route in which soldiers have been transported home before. Residents of Canada are still coming together in the wake of horrible attacks on the country’s military.
It started with a hit-and-run as one soldier of Canada was killed and another was injured. Martin Rouleau-Couture was identified as the driver after the incident, in which he ran over 53-year-old Patrice Vincent, killing him, and another unidentified soldier, who was injured. After the police investigated they stated that they believed that the attack was that of terrorism. Police stated that the suspect had recently converted to Islam and held radical beliefs in his faith. Though they had evidence that showed that Martin had many radical thoughts about the authorities, police said they could not charge someone with thinking radical thoughts, and eventually they had to let the suspect go for lack of evidence that he had any links to a terrorist group.
Then another attack happened, shortly after, when Michael Zehaf-Bibeau opened fire on a soldier at Parliament Hill in Canada, in an attack that was believed to be eventually going after Prime Minister Stephen Harper, as he was not too far away from where the gunman was eventually shot down. In the process of the shooting, Corp. Nathan Cirillo was initially shot and killed, then the gunmen continued in a path toward the building as other soldiers and security shot him down.
Though police worked to link these two attacks to terrorism, no direct link to a terrorist group was made. However, police did rule these attacks as terrorism after learning that both of the suspects in each attack had apparently converted to Islam and posted on their radical views in social media and messages. Though much of the information was not released, letting the public know exactly what may have been on in the minds of the two suspects, it was confirmed that these attacks were specifically on Canadian soldiers.
Since Parliament Hill’s ground reopening (as the actual building is still closed but the surrounding area is no longer off limits), residents of Canada have been drawn in large crowds to the site that was created as a memorial for the latest fallen soldier, Cirillo. Many show shock and shame to the fact that the two suspects in the killings of soldiers were actually residents of Canada. One woman at the scene told reporters that the reason for the gathering of large crowds in simply because it brings Canadians together and, while they can not do much for those families who have lost soldiers, they can and will show their support for all of the families.
Canada soldiers and authorities are still on high alert watching for what officials have called, random terrorist attacks on authorities. As official services are prepared for Cirillo, residents of Canada are highly hoping that they do not have to bury any more soldiers, anytime soon.
By Crystal Boulware