The recent murder of Corporal Nathan Cirillo in Ottawa has many Canadians anxious for their safety and calling for greater security measures.
His death was undoubtedly a tragedy, however, it is imperative that Canadians do not use isolated incidents like this one to encourage military action, particularly around Remembrance Day.
Now is a time for quiet contemplation of the consequences of war and conflict, not a time to encourage greater military action.
People called World War I “The War to End all Wars.” Even using official Canadian government records, the death toll is shocking.
Out of a population of eight million people, more than 650,000 men and women from Canada and Newfoundland served, and of these people, over 66,000 gave their lives and more than 172,000 were wounded.
Almost a century later, Canada still commemorates this and holds ceremonies on Remembrance Day. It is then appropriate to contextualize our emotions around the murder of Cirillo in terms of the horrific toll of war and conflict rather than in terms of military-glorifying nationalistic fear.
The recent decision of the Harper government to involve Canada in military action in Iraq is already a substantial step in the wrong direction. Incidents like the shooting in Ottawa are just the kind of tool a warmongering government can take advantage of to justify and reinforce even greater military involvement.
It’s our duty to prevent this from happening. We must not allow fear to be used as a motivator towards greater death and loss.
We should consider the loss Cpl. Cirillo’s family has suffered, the losses our own families have suffered in conflicts, and whether more of this kind of loss and grief is worth a little more peace of mind.