Bill Kelly: Remembering Hamilton’s Nathan Cirillo

Cpl. Nathan Cirillo's sisters look on as Cirillo's son Marcus places a wreath at a memorial plaque on the one year anniversary of his death. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand

Many of us have been caught up in the political quagmires in Ottawa and Washington this week, but I want to hit the pause button and pay tribute to a great Canadian and great Hamiltonian who was taken from us six years ago this week.

Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, a member of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, was shot and killed on Oct. 22, 2014, while guarding the National War Memorial in Ottawa.

READ MORE: Remembering Hamilton’s Corporal Nathan Cirillo 6 years after Ottawa attack

The shock and anguish we felt on that chaotic day was magnified when we in the Hamilton area found out that a victim was a native son. Many of us knew him as that nice guy with the German Sheppard who frequented the dog park in Ancaster.

It was a week steeped in emotion.

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We’ll never forget Cpl. Cirillo’s journey home along the Highway of Heroes, how Hamiltonians crowded the overpasses on the Linc and lined the streets on a chilly Friday evening to pay tribute to one of our own.

We’ll never forget the funeral service at Christ Church Cathedral, attended by dignitaries, including the prime minister.

The image of Nathan’s young son, Marcus, following behind his father’s casket, wearing his dad’s Argyll and Sutherland Highlander cap is an image that will be forever in our hearts.

We will never forget, when six years ago, our community and our country came together to pay tribute to a fallen hero.

Bill Kelly is the host of the Bill Kelly Show on Global News Radio 900 CHML.

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