OTTAWA – Political leaders, soldiers and citizens will gather on Parliament Hill Thursday for a ceremony marking the anniversary of two uniformed soldiers murdered one year ago.
The ceremony at the National War Memorial will feature a 21-gun salute and a flypast by four CF-18 fighter jets.
Cpl. Nathan Cirillo was gunned down Oct. 22, 2014, as he stood guard at the memorial by a man who was shot dead after he ran into the Centre Block of the House of Commons.
His death came two days after an extremist deliberately ran down Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent, 53, in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que.
On hand for the commemoration will be Gov. Gen. David Johnston, outgoing Prime Minister Stephen Harper and prime minister-designate Justin Trudeau.
They’ll be joined by members of the Cirillo and Vincent families, soldiers from Cirillo’s reserve regiment, first responders and police.
On Wednesday evening, scores of people turned out in Hamilton for a hill-top ceremony in Cirillo’s honour.
“It was cowardly, it was evil, and most of all, it was tragic,” his sister Nicole told the crowd.
“When Nathan passed away, our family’s snowglobe was shaken and turned upside down.”
Cirillo, a member of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders regiment, left a young son, Marcus, who attended with his mother as well as his grandmother and other family members.
The evening ceremony, in near darkness, included a marching of the colours, a “monument of light,” and words from the regiment’s padre, Robert Fead.
“May his life and death inspire all of us to work for greater peace in our nation and in our world.”
Cirillo was also being remembered for the love that he had for his family, for rescue dogs, his smile and his friendliness, Fead said.
Following the parkside ceremony, attended by some people with candles and others with the Maple Leaf, members of Cirillo’s regiment marched back to their local armoury for a final, private dispatch.