by Brian DuBreuilPosted: Apr 27, 2012 11:10 AM ETLast Updated: Apr 27, 2012 11:10 AM ET
In a news week dominated by health care strike threats and education cuts,
two stories stand out. Stories that will stay with me for a long time.
One in Nova Scotia, the other an ocean away. Both striking testaments to
the resilience of the human spirit.
Earlier this week, Raymond Taavel's family sent a gracious and moving
letter to the people of Nova Scotia.
They spoke of their love for their son and brother, and of his love for our
city and province. They spoke of how comforting it was to see the outpouring of
support and compassion - the vigils, the tributes and the memorials - of how we
accepted Taavel without judgement.
As for the man charged with killing Taavel, his family spoke not of anger
or revenge but of forgiveness, something they say Raymond would have wanted. And
despite the horrific way Taavel died, the letter ends with these words: "Nova
Scotia is a good place to be. Our hope is that all the "Raymonds" of the world
can someday find their own "Nova Scotia."
If you haven't seen the full letter yet, take a couple of minutes to read
it - here's the link - it's a letter you won't soon forget.
I was thinking of how Halifax responded to Taavel's death, when I watched
the news stories out of Norway this week.
On Thursday, tens of thousands of Norwegians took to the streets, in the
pouring rain, to sing a song.
It started when Anders Behring Breivik, the man accused of massacring
77 people in last summer's bombing and shooting rampage, told the court he was
"annoyed" by the Norwegian version of the Pete Seeger song "Children of the
Rainbow". He claimed the song was used to brainwash the country's youth into
So two women decided they would sing the song outside the courthouse in
Oslo. A personal act of defiance.
They put it on Facebook, hoping to get a
couple of dozen friends to join them. By the day of the event 4,000 had signed
up. In the end, 40,000 people showed up.
Years ago Charles Dickens wrote "I
hope that real love and truth are stronger in the end than any evil or
misfortune in the world."
From Nova Scotia to Norway, people spoke out, and sang out, their belief in
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