Nathan Cirillo, Patrice Vincent honoured in North Sydney
Veterans, 15-year-old cadet Ceilidh Bond takes turns standing vigil for fallen soldiers
As thousands of mourners gathered in Hamilton to pay their final respects to Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, people in North Sydney held a silent vigil in remembrance of the soldiers killed last week in separate violent attacks.
Hundreds of people gathered at the war memorial in downtown North Sydney on Tuesday. At 11 a.m., the group sang Oh Canada, listened to The Last Post and said a prayer for Cirillo and Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent.
Cirillo, 24, was standing guard in front of the National War Memorial in Ottawa on Wednesday when he was gunned down by a man wielding a rifle.
Two days earlier, a targeted hit-and-run attack in a parking lot in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que., ended in the death of Vincent, 53.
Clarence Dawe, a legion member, said the gathering in North Sydney was a proud moment.
"It shows that we're all part of this nation," he said. "We're showing our respect too because he was a comrade."
- Cpl. Nathan Cirillo mourned at funeral in Hamilton
- Ceilidh Bond, 15, stands guard at North Sydney cenotaph
Veterans took turns standing vigil at the memorial. The oldest was 98-year-old veteran Bill McKeigan, who fought in the Second World War.
"Why anybody would be like that, to walk up and kill a poor guy that's just there on guard," he said.
The youngest standing guard at Tuesday's vigil was 15-year-old army cadet Ceilidh Bond, who held her own solitary vigil over the weekend. She was overcome with emotion when she saw the support for her.
"I knew that I wasn't alone," she said. "To have people come up and stand side by side, I couldn't even hold back the tears. It was absolutely amazing."
Members of the public laid poppies and flowers at the memorial.
"I thought it was wonderful, that we all came together united," said Lorraine Adair.
One woman whose father served in the first World War laid a bouquet of flowers and told CBC News she was going to then go home and have a good cry.
Flags are at half mast at bases and institutions across the country today. At CFB Halifax, everyone paused at 12 p.m. to observe two minutes of silence.