August 13, 2018 8:01 am
Updated: August 13, 2018 9:37 am

‘Music heals people’: N.S. boy records tribute to victims of Fredericton shooting

WATCH: A Nova Scotia boy recorded a video of him singing his own rendition of "Hallelujah" which he posted to Facebook to remember the victims of the Fredericton shooting, changing some of the words to reflect the incident and sacrifice made by the police officers.


Twelve-year-old Josh Cochrane of Yarmouth, N.S., watched the news of a deadly shooting in Fredericton on Friday afternoon with a heavy heart.

He thought of the fear the responding officers must have felt, and the children of the victims whose parents wouldn’t be around to tuck them in at night.

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Cochrane wanted to do something to help comfort the grieving community, so he wrote and recorded a tribute song, to the tune of Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah,” called “A Police Hallelujah.”

In the two days since his mother posted his song to Facebook, the video has been viewed more than 300,000 times.

“I wanted the song to show the world their braveness and sacrifice they made to save others,” Cochrane said.

“I believe music heals people, it helps you see from your heart, it helps bring calmness.”

Cochrane said he has received responses from grieving people across the country, including a colleague of Const. Robb Costello and Const. Sara Mae Burns – the two police officers killed – saying Cochrane’s song is helping him and his colleagues through the difficult time.

The young Canadian’s message is just one of many shows of support from people who never knew the victims, but are still grieving with the small New Brunswick city.

Police forces across the country lowered flags to half-mast on Friday afternoon, while thousands of people posted on social media with the hashtag #FrederictonStrong.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visited families and colleagues of the victims on Sunday afternoon, and told reporters his message to the families was one of solidarity in grief.

“When you have a whole community, and indeed a whole country, supporting you through terrible grief, it does make it a little bit easier – not much easier, but a little bit easier,” Trudeau said.

For Cochrane’s part, he hopes his song will spread his belief that love and kindness are more powerful than anger and hate – a lesson he learned when he lost someone close to him while that person was serving in Afghanistan.

READ MORE: Community, family, friends mourn victims of Fredericton shooting

“We have to stop losing lives to violence by changing the world one kind act at a time,” Cochrane said.

From the comments he’s received so far, he thinks he has achieved what he set out to do.

“I believe the song is doing what I hoped,” Cochrane said.

“It has people talking, people knowing that it’s not weak to speak about how they feel, it’s important,” he said.

“It is OK to not be OK sometimes. … someone is always there to help them get through, and people do care, even if it is a kid.”

© 2018 The Canadian Press

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