How do you explain what happened on the night of June 4th, 2014.
A part of me changed that day.
It was not because I had never had a police officer killed near me, that happened outside my apartment building 10 years ago.
It is not even the fact that we lived within the lock down zone, though that definitely added a new level of stress to our lives.
The difference this time was, I was not in Toronto anymore. This time I was living in Moncton. This time it was not in a back alley. This time it actually took place through many different city streets, residential streets where many kids were living.
The city I grew up in and the a fairly small city by comparison to where this stuff normally happens. Unfortunately that changes the way your city looks to you.
But there is something else to this story as well.
Resurgo: to rise up again.
The Motto of the City of Moncton and one that has fit this city well over the years.
Resurgo was adopted as our motto when the city first became a railway town after the death of the shipbuilding industry in the 1860’s it was proven again when both our railway and our military base were slowly closed and shuttered starting in the 1980’s. We evolved we moved on and we grew again.
Soon we will lay 3 officers to rest and the city is in mourning, and with very good reason. But already the signs of us rising again are showing through. #MonctonStrong has become the new hashtag to replace #prayforMoncton. Kids are organizing bike rallies in the center of the neighborhood that was most deeply affected. Hundreds gathered at a candlelight vigil outside the police station. The funeral is being shown on screens at 5 different venues (besides the actual funeral site itself) and possibly even more as we get closer to the time, and yet it may not be enough seating for everyone who wants to be there.
This is Moncton and we do not allow people to take our city away from us, we do not allow people to take our security and we most definitely will not allow one person to force us to change how we treat each other.
We are Moncton, We stand together.
This is the time when there are no political ties, when there are no language barriers, when there are no colour barriers.
This is the time when the Conservatives, the Liberals, the NDP, the Greens and the People’s Alliance all speak with one voice. This is the time when the Anglo Society and the Acadian Society stand shoulder to shoulder. This is the time when the immigrants stand shoulder to shoulder with those whose families go back centuries.
This is the time when we all stand up, lift ourselves up, help our neighbor out. It is the time when we all work together to make sure that when the dust settles that we will stand again. Just like every time before, We will stand again and once again we will walk away, stronger then we ever were.
That is what Moncton is, That is what Moncton does.
So as we watch these officers who protected our streets be laid to rest, remember we are all in this together. We will all rise up again and we must not leave anyone behind.
To the families, you have our utmost sympathy and a shoulder when you need to cry. To those who were injured, we are here and we will help you get back to the streets again.
To the officers who took him down without injury. We admire your restraint, it is more then we would have been able to do.
To the other first responders who put themselves in harms way to save lives. You deserve to be recognized for that as well.
And finally to all of us, We are each other’s shoulders, we feel each other’s pain. But most importantly it is bred in our bones that as every other Monctonian before us has done. We will rise up again.
The final step will be once we find the real true reason why this happened, the true motivation. Then we will be able to put the steps in place to make sure that no one does this to us again.
We will rise up again because no one person has the power to keep us down.