No Words

I don't have words to describe how I'm feeling today.

This morning I left my apartment in a rush to get to campus and discovered a few hours later that there had been a shooting in Ottawa. The gunman first mortally wounded a reservist who was on guard at our National War Memorial before attempting an attack on Parliament. The gunman was felled inside the building, but the city was put under lockdown with the possibility of a second shooter on the run. This happened just two days after a pair of soldiers were attacked - and one killed - in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec.

Wellington looking west towards Parliament Hill #cbcott
— Giacomo Panico (@GiacomoPanico) October 22, 2014

When I moved to Ottawa as a child I remember feeling fearful that an attack of this nature would occur. Even at 9-years-old I understood that being Canada's capitol city made Ottawa a target. It was unbearable not being home when I heard my old fear was realized. From the other side of the country I called home to make sure that everyone was accounted for, that Pamela had gotten home safely from her morning practice and that everyone was safe. I texted friends support as they were locked down in their offices because they worked in government buildings. I keep jumping between being relieved, grateful, unnerved, angry, and terribly sad. Today we lost an innocent young man who was a year younger than me.

Looking at pictures from today is numbing; these are all places I've been, appreciated and enjoyed. I wish the city the best with adjusting to this violence in the days to come. Stay strong Ottawa.

Ottawan Troy Dexter has arrived here w/ Canadian Flag, wants to pay his respects at War Memorial #cbcott
— Giacomo Panico (@GiacomoPanico) October 22, 2014

On Sunday, we asked a very handsome guard for a picture with my friend visiting from Cali - RIP Nathan Cirillo
— Megan Underwood (@megunder) October 22, 2014

Rest in peace Corporal Nathan Cirillo. Condolences to his family, who I hope can find the strength and support they need after this tragedy.

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