“I saw a level of intense national grief for the terrible loss of this amazing young man. We will forever be grateful for his service and sacrifice,” said Liberal MP and former Hamilton mayor Bob Bratina in a social media post on Thursday.
The 24-year old Cirillo, a member of Hamilton’s Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, died after he was shot by 32-year-old Michael Zehaf-Bibeau — the perpetrator of the 2014 shootings on Parliament Hill which placed downtown Ottawa on lockdown.
Cirillo was shot just before 10 a.m. at the National War Memorial on Oct. 22, 2014. He succumbed to his injuries in Ottawa’s Civic Campus Hospital.
“Let us pause and remember the service and sacrifice of Corporal Nathan Cirillo,” said charity and veterans service organization Wounded Warriors in a Twitter post on Thursday morning.
“We remember and honour him, and also thank the first responders who kept others inside Parliament Hill safe that day,” said the Police Association of Ontario in a Facebook post on the anniversary.
“Lots to remember from back in 2014 attack on parliament but Cpl Nathan Cirillo’s family continue to be in my prayers,” said former Ontario minister of health and Conservative MP Tony Clement on Twitter.
After shooting Cirillo, Zehaf-Bibeau drove to Centre Block where government and opposition MPs were in a weekly caucus meeting. Zehaf-Bibeau then engaged security in the Hall of Honour before being shot dead.
Later, the RCMP classified the 2014 ordeal as a terrorist act under the criminal code.
Cirillo’s remains are buried in the very middle of the military section of Woodland Cemetery in Burlington.
Hamilton honoured Cirillo’s memory by naming one of his favourite places after him — the Nathan Cirillo Leash-Free dog park in the Meadowlands in Ancaster. The area was renamed during a ceremony in October 2015.
“Six years ago, our regimental family suffered a shocking blow. We reflect and remember that while tragedies hurt, our collective strength in the face of adversity is what define us,” Cirillo’s infantry regiment The Argylls said in a tweet on Thursday.
Also being remembered this week is 53-year-old warrant officer Patrice Vincent who died days earlier in an attack in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que. Vincent was killed in the parking lot of a shopping mall when Martin Couture-Rouleau plowed into him and a fellow soldier, who survived.
“We will never forget the sacrifices these brave men made — or the courage of those who came forward six years ago to keep us safe,” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said in a post on the anniversary of Cirillo’s death.