MOOSE JAW – Residents in Moose Jaw, home to 15 Wing, are paying honour to the Canadian soldier killed on home soil in Ottawa on Wednesday.
“I think it was a tragedy what happened,” said one woman. “I hope we never experience that here in the west in Moose Jaw, but I guess we don’t know that.”
Flags flew at half-mast on city buildings and schools. Students at King George School bowed their heads in a moment silence before singing ‘O Canada’ at the morning assembly.
The Royal Canadian Legion Branch 59 commemorated Cpl. Nathan Cirillo by posting his name on its ‘last post’ in the entranceway to the hall.
“I was in shock and disbelief and then angered,” said Lloyd Meier, president of Moose Jaw’s Legion. “This Cpl. was guarding one of our most treasured possessions and that’s our memorial to our fallen comrades. For him to have been executed while performing those duties, to me, is a blatant attack on all veterans across Canada.”
The Legion’s poppy campaign doesn’t officially begin until the last Friday in October, but some people, including Moose Jaw’s police chief, have began to wear them as a gesture of support,
“The freedoms that we enjoy in Canada, we have a lot of freedoms, they come at high costs,” said Police Chief Rick Bourassa. “A lot of people gave their lives and continue to give their lives to keep us as free a country as we could be.”
15 Wing Moose Jaw has not enacted any noticeable changes to the security at its front gate. The public affair officer for the base says it will be reviewing and adjusting security measures, as necessary, in the future.