NEWS

Canadian soldiers' deaths make this Remembrance Day 'close to a lot of our hearts'

11/08/2014 03:28 EST | Updated 01/08/2015 05:59 EST
Remembrance Day is taking on new meaning for some Toronto youth after the recent deaths of two Canadian soldiers.

"This year is a little bit close to a lot of our hearts," says Captain Nicole McKay, a cadet leader. "Certainly we're all thinking about the families of Cpl. Nathan Cirillo [and] Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent."

Cirillo, 24, died after being shot while guarding the National War Memorial on Oct. 22. Vincent was struck and killed by a car two days earlier in a St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Que., parking lot in what CSIS described at the time as a "violent expression of an extremist ideology."

The two deaths reminded Canadians about the dangers those serving the country in uniform face.

Cadet Ion Buzdugan says he knows Canada is involved in overseas peacekeeping operations, but can't recall similar attacks on Canadian soil.

"Of course it struck me because I've never seen it happen before in Canada," Buzdugan says. "It really, really struck a nerve with me."

Due to the recent attacks, some organizations are being more cautious about upcoming Remembrance Day activities.

The Girl Guides of Canada issued a statement saying that the organization expects security to be increased at events this year, but it's ultimately up to parents whether or not their children should participate.

"Guiders should exercise understanding of such parental decisions and best judgment in choosing to participate with their units in Remembrance Day events, considering their sense of security in their location," reads the statement from Chief Commissioner Sharron Callahan.

Not all parents are too concerned about a potential added threat.

Cadet parent Franca Cimetta says she's not concerned about her kids' safety.

"I know that they're in good hands and the cadets all watch out for each other — same with the staff, they all watch over the children," she says.

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