Moncton’s motto Resurgo has become a rallying cry across the city in the aftermath of the tragic shooting deaths of three RCMP officers last week but it was originally meant to give hope to residents in another difficult time.
Latin for, "I rise again," the city's motto brought comfort to many in the last week.
Politicians and people around the world have used the term to show their support for the city. Even comedian Norm MacDonald used #Resurgo on Twitter during a series of tweets to demonstrate his connection to the area.
Resurgo #PrayForMoncton— Norm Macdonald (@normmacdonald) June 5, 2014
Brenda Orr, the city’s senior heritage officer, said the motto has roots far deeper than Twitter.
"It was selected back in 1875 back when the city was incorporated as a city," she said.
Resurgo was chosen to represent the newly minted municipality of Moncton. Orr said it was appropriate at the time for more economic reasons.
"That's connected to that whole time when the shipbuilding industry failed and they actually lost their charter as a town," she said.
But prosperity returned to the region as the rail industry grew, leading to Moncton's incorporation as a city.
A century later, the city also had to recover from another economic hit when the CN closed its locomotive repair shops in the late 1980s, eliminating thousands of jobs.
Orr said the city’s motto offers some comfort to people when times become tough.
"People always look to hang on to something that has an importance for the community and because this goes back such a long time in terms of the use of this word and also the meaning of it," she said.
"Our motto is we will rise again and we'll be able to get through this."
While Resurgo has had a repeated meaning for the city, there is not a lot known about why people in Moncton picked the motto 125 years ago.
Orr said she is very curious about the origins of the motto and the discussions that surrounded using the word.
"Unfortunately those records have been lost, but you never know some day we may encounter someone's personal diary that might give us some hint about that," she said.