Beyond the Headlines

"Love is stronger than evil"

Posted: Apr 27, 2012 11:10 AM ET Last 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 supporting immigration.

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 those words.

(Here is a YouTube video of the Oslo event)

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About the Author

Brian DuBreuil is a veteran journalist with CBC News. He has won two Gemini awards for his work, and neither involved dancing or singing on a reality show.

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