Brandt’s Randt airs on Wednesdays at 6:50 am on The Big Show. There was no way I could have known about the events in Ottawa to follow yesterday. Although my Randt was about the upgraded terror level, in light of the events in Ottawa yesterday, its flip and sarcastic tone now seems inappropriate for replay. I’m writing with tears streaming down my face as I read about the short and selfless life of 24-year-old Hamilton reservist Nathan Cirillo who was shot in cold blood at the war memorial. The post is ceremonial. His gun wasn’t loaded. He didn’t have a chance. My News Director and I watched, sickened, as television stations aired live footage of the vain attempt to save him. We couldn’t help ourselves. The story was fresh and unfolding and we were anxious for any news on the shooter or shooters. Were they still at large? Was anyone else at risk? And the cameras stayed on that tragic scene.
My brother’s and my lifelong friend’s son is on an army rotation that sometimes puts him at that very same post. We worried until we heard that it wasn’t Justin. But it was Nathan, and although we didn’t know him, he was our representative on that watch. He was there on our behalf.
It’s rare that we celebrate murder but we are all grateful for the actions of House of Commons Sergeant.-at-Arms Kevin Vickers who killed Cirillo’s shooter. There’s no doubt that Vickers saved lives yesterday.
Sadly, yesterday’s events proved my Randt’s point. The terror level goes up and nothing changes. A raised terror risk level is supposed to mean heightened security and awareness. At the very least, you’d think a soldier standing on guard at a public memorial site could be given a loaded gun.