Cpl. Nathan Cirillo's family: 'He belonged to all of us'

Cpl. Nathan Cirillo's family released a statement Friday evening as thousands of Canadians lined highway overpasses and Main Street in Hamilton to honour the soldier as his body was brought home.

Soldier's family mourns with the rest of Canada

As thousands of Canadians lined highway overpasses and Main Street in Hamilton to honour Cpl. Nathan Cirillo as his body was brought home, his family expressed their thanks for the support they've received this week.

Capt. Robert Andrushko, Cirillo's former company commander at the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, stood with Cirillo's step-father, Victor, as he delivered a statement on Friday night.

Here is the statement in full

I'm Captain Robert Andrushko, a member of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders. I am Nathan's former company commander and civilian employer. I stand here with Victor, Nathan's step-father.

The family has asked me to deliver the following statement:

On behalf of our family, we want to say thank you to the entire nation. On Oct. 22, we lost a son, a brother, a father, a friend and a national hero. We are not only mourning as a family, but also a country. When we lost Nathan, we all mourned as one.

There are no words to express the sadness that has fallen upon us all. We take comfort knowing Nathan has done our country proud. The support of the nation in this devastating time provides a measure of comfort and helps make this almost bearable.

We especially want to thank the Argylls and the entire Canadian Forces for their unconditional show of support. They have gone above and beyond all expectations. The police, firefighters, EMS have been wonderful and have lived up to Canadians' expectations to make this difficult time as easy as possible.

I would also like to thank organizations that have provided special assistance to us, including Westjet and Delta Hotels.

A special thank-you to the wonderful Canadians that came to Nathan's aid in his time of need.

Also, we want to convey how deeply moved we are by all Canadian citizens and free nations with the outpouring of sympathy and incredible tributes for Nathan.

Nathan loved the army. He has a strong and unwavering devotion to duty. He understood what it meant to sustain freedom. He was fearless. Nathan would have done his duty even if he knew this tragedy was coming.

Nathan was Canada's son. He belonged to all of us. We've always thought we lived in the best country in the world but people just proved it.

Cirillo was killed in a shooting on Wednesday at the National War Memorial.

His body was transported along the Highway of Heroes from the nation's capital to Hamilton on Friday.

Cirillo's body was taken to the Markey-Dermody Funeral Home on King Street East. One visitation period is scheduled — from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Monday. That visitation is open to the public. A previously announced Sunday visitation period will be private, the funeral home said.

The funeral home posted an obituary naming several close family members grieving his loss, including his mother and step-father, two sisters and his son. 

The funeral is scheduled for 12 p.m. Tuesday at Christ's Church Cathedral on James St. N. in Hamilton, said Bill Mous from the Anglican Diocese of Niagara. Details of the service are still being planned. Organizers hope to arrange a closed-circuit television broadcast at an overflow location. 

After the funeral there will be a private burial for family and the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders of Canada in the Field of Honour at Woodland Cemetery, according to the funeral home.


  • A previous version of this story said the funeral for warrant Officer Patrice Vincent was Saturday. In fact, it is on Saturday, Nov. 1.
    Oct 24, 2014 5:26 PM ET


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