The path from Outraged to Shaken

National War Memorial

Eight years ago one of my all time favourite columnists, Roy MacGregor, penned one of my all time favourite columns entitled Stupid young men often grow up to be fine upstanding citizens. It’s as much worth the read today as it was then.

That column has stuck with me as a deeper meaning lesson about how we, as parents, need to learn to accept that occasionally, if not often, the road to upstanding citizenry has a few immaturity bumps along the way.

This week, Roy poignantly refers to the attack on Ottawa as  a town not accustomed to fear loses its innocence. Equally worth the read.

In particular, Roy writes:

“Eight years ago, Ottawans were outraged when three young men overcelebrating Canada Day were photographed relieving themselves at the same War Memorial where Wednesday another young man lay dying while paramedics worked feverishly, but futilely, to save him. Outraged then, but shaken this day to the very core.”

Eight years ago I wasn’t terribly outraged. On the surface, yes, but after digesting Roy’s then column, I accepted the incident for what it was; a couple of kids badly needing to take a whiz and in a drunken stupor perhaps unable to process the inappropriateness of the act. Certainly, as Roy pointed out, it was not an intended act or a premeditated assault.

However, the events in Ottawa this week were just that; premeditated and an assault.

Roy MacGregor is quite astute in distinguishing the differences between “outraged” and “shaken.”

Eight years ago there was talk of placing ropes, chains and barriers around the National War Memorial as a way of protecting those sacred grounds. I remember clearly the debate that raged on both sides of the argument vis-a-vis roaming the premises freely and unfettered.

But, there is a far-cry difference between stupid young men spraying pee on the National War Memorial versus this week’s spraying of bullets and blood.

When, pray tell, is “our home and native land” going to do what it must to be once again “glorious and free” of religious and zealot-like ideologies and behaviour?

This is not the Canadian culture in to which I was born.

Taking “it” back, is long overdue.

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