Ottawa shooting: National War Memorial ceremonial guards back on duty
PM, top general on hand as sentries return to National War Memorial
Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Tom Lawson attended a ceremony to pay respect to slain soldier Cpl. Nathan Cirillo and mark the return of two ceremonial guards to the National War Memorial Friday afternoon.
The soldiers took their posts as sentries on either side of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier for the first time since Cirillo was shot and killed in the same location on Wednesday morning.
Cpl. Daniel Germaine and Cpl. Mark Daigle, Afghanistan veterans from the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Canadian Regiment based in Oromocto, N.B., marched to their posts just after 2 p.m. local time.
As the sentries took their positions, Cirillo's body was leaving Ottawa by police escort en route to his hometown of Hamilton.
A military funeral is planned for Tuesday.
Man bursts into song at memorial
After the prime minister and his top general left, public access to the National War Memorial was fully restored, with hundreds of people rushing to the front to pay their respects at the foot of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
Bouquets of flowers, candles, notes and other mementos were laid by the memorial as members of the public saluted the honour guards and expressed their grief following Wednesday's shooting.
One man walked up the steps of the memorial, turned to face the crowd and began to sing Bring Him Home from the musical Les Misérables. He sang uninterrupted for two minutes, after which the crowd gave him a warm round of applause.
Before leaving the memorial he burst into a rendition of O Canada. The crowd, which included a young girl holding a Canadian flag, joined in with the two honour guards looking on.
The singer told CBC News his name was Doug Corporal.
As activities return to normal in downtown Ottawa, the lawn and surrounding grounds of Parliament will reopen to the general public as of Friday 8 p.m. ET.
"RCMP presence will be maintained at entrances to buildings in the parliamentary precinct," the office for the House of Commons Speaker said in a statement Friday.
While there will be no public tours this weekend, visitors will be able to visit Parliament and watch question period in the public galleries, beginning Monday.
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With files from CBC's Susana Mas