Like so many others across our country, I was - am - so upset about these tragic events. I am upset that a reservist guarding our nation's war memorial was murdered so callously. I am upset that the building where the legislation that shapes our country has been discussed and debated and passed into law was violated in such a visceral way. I am upset that schools in the area had to put their lockdown skills to good use.
There are many heavy hearts in our city, and many tears have been shed. We may not have known them, but we grieve. We all want to wrap the family in as much love as we can. That a little boy should have found himself in the wrong place at the wrong time is tragic enough, but that this "wrong place" was a home where he felt safe, where he spent so much time with people he loved and who loved him back makes it even more difficult for us to understand.
Canada is a country where you are free to be who you are and where you can express love to those around you without fear. You can practice your faith and express your views openly. You are receiving an excellent public education and when you are hurt, you can receive the health care you need. Wherever you travel, continue to stand on guard for the ideals and values that our flag - the one that our athletes wore throughout the competition - represents throughout the world.
You may have heard that there was a football game being played in Regina this weekend. Tens of thousands of fans descend upon Mosaic Stadium to cheer on the home team at Taylor Field. There might have been people there cheering for the other team, but I'll go out on a short limb and say they were a minority.
It's been hard to see Dad so sad, because in much the same way he wants us to be happy, that's what we want for him too. I am compelled to let him know that I no longer take my time with him for granted, at least not in the same way I might have just six months ago. Up until that time, there would always be another phone call, another visit, another chance to say "I love you." Now we know that those moments are gifts; sometimes small, but always appreciated.
As I read the reports, it is hard not to remember what it was like when I was in high school. I grew up in a typical small prairie town with good, honest hard-working people. Yet I'm sure that if we're being honest with ourselves, most of us know that what happened in Steubenville could have easily happened where we lived, in any city or town.
When I was in university, one of the requirements for my degree was a political philosophy course. It was not the best class I ever took, although the professor tried really hard. As the old adage goes: it wasn't him, it was me. I knew I wasn't alone in my struggles with the material. In fact, the class had a battle-weary mentality about it. We would commiserate about the volume of reading and reassure each other that we would make it through together.
For the past week or so I've been hearing about how all of my friends and family and acquaintances plan to improve their lives over the next year. There are health-related resolutions, career goals, and ideas for improving relationships. But my resolution is a bit different.
It's been one of those days when the words are many, yet not enough. Because what can you possibly say about such horror? Nothing really.
I've wept for the parents, siblings, children, spouses, friends and families of those who were so violently taken from this earth at Sandy Hook Elementary School.