It has only been a week since the city of Moncton was locked down because of a terror in the streets. An unclear agenda, by an unstable individual, caused (probably) the biggest heartbreak the city has ever seen (and I pray nothing like it will happen again). Three RCMP officers were shot and killed while trying to keep the city safe, two more were wounded in the same fight to keep the city safe.
I am currently living in China, and was shocked when I woke up last Thursday morning to see this news. The headlines all read the same, “Moncton is under attack.” I spent the next 30 hours watching the news. Between classes, walking to/from school, lunch break, evening, and late into the night. All I did was refresh the screen hoping to see the words, “Terror has come to an end, the gunman is in custody.” The finally came, but not before Moncton, and the world was shocked at what happened. An article in The National quoted an unnamed officer as saying, “They went back to the detachment, dried their weapons, made notes ‘and saw a lot of faces in the room that just lost friends.’ There were no high fives.” Moncton had become a city in mourning.
Moncton is a phoenix though. It is rising from the ashes of tragedy, because the mourning hasn’t turned them into a distrustful, hateful city where isolation has taken hold. It is beautiful to see the way in which the city is coming together despite what has happened. I have seen post, after post, after post, saying, “I was walking there today, and I saw a line of people hugging the RCMP.” Free meals were being given by restaurants to officers in uniform/with a badge. Some restaurants have started a permanent 25% off for officers. Flowers have taken over the steps of RCMP detachments, and the sidewalks nearby. When 7,000 RCMP came from across Canada for the funeral, they were billeted out to homes in Moncton. Children made signs, and cards. Neighbourhoods organized bicycle rallies for the children to ride around to show their support for the officers. This is a short list of the thousands upon thousands of small and large acts of kindness found in the city.
Today, I am proud of Moncton. I am proud it is a city where news like this still shocks the world, and isn’t accepted as “par for the course.” I am proud it is a city where it won’t let an act of terror define it. I am proud to find the people of Moncton are full of love, generosity, kindness, and beautiful spirits. I am proud Moncton showed its amazing character when put on the world stage. I am proud to say I am from Moncton.
Photo Credit: @RCMPPEITraffic