Windsor-Essex residents pay tribute to fallen Canadian soldier
Tributes are piling in across Windsor-Essex as the region honours Canada’s fallen soldier.
In Windsor, flags are flying at half-mast at city hall to pay tribute to Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, the soldier that was killed at Canada’s National War Memorial, where he was serving as an honour guard.
On Thursday morning, Windsor residents showed their solidarity with the nation, as arrangements of flowers were placed the foot of the city’s cenotaph. Dave Mann was one of those who attended the cenotaph – leaving behind a simple memorial for Cirillo.
Mann wasn’t the only one. John Nayduk, along with others from Windsor’s military community took an extra step by leaving a wreath.
“It’s a brotherhood whether you are retired or active. When one of our soldiers dies, everybody feels it. It’s a family,” Nayduk says. “We don't expect that in Canada at all. We understand we're part of this war on terror and we've been named, so it’s not surprising, but still it’s horrific when you see it.”
Meanwhile, students with the Windsor-Essex County Catholic District School Board are being encouraged to dress in red on Friday to demonstrate their resolve and unity as Canadians. Director of Education Paul Picard says it’s the perfect way to pay tribute to Cirillo.
“What a remarkable statement we would make as a community if all 23,000 of us wore red tomorrow.”
Several of Windsor’s community groups are speaking out, including the Windsor Islamic Association. They are condemning Wednesday’s attack on Parliament Hill.
“Windsor Muslims denounce this attack and our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their loved ones, especially the soldiers who lost their lives in Ottawa and Montreal,” said WIA president M. Khalid Raana.
“We have taken some operational steps in terms of scheduling and deploying, but I cannot go into details,” says Windsor Police Chief Al Frederick.
Frederick says the changes are temporary until the threat level goes down. In the meantime, he says residents need to stay vigilant and report and all suspicious behaviour.