On Wednesday evening, someone dressed in fatigues and armed with weapons was walking in a neighborhood of our city. He shot five strong and courageous RCMP officers when they responded to the calls. The search for him lasted about 30 hours. The north end of our city, which includes my school and their families, was in lock down during that time. People were told to not leave their houses, to stay away from the windows and to keep outdoor lights on at night. Schools and businesses were closed. It was terrifying for the city. At 12:10 on Friday morning, the Mounties captured the man. We are thankful. We are grieving. We are changed. On Monday, teachers will see their students for the first time and I long to wrap my arms around mine.
Much has been written in newspapers and in the media, and much will be written over time by many near and far. While I can't write under the heading "Celebrate" with Ruth this Saturday, I can write a list of thanksgiving...
...Jim and Annie were at volleyball practice. Jim called to say the school was in a lock down. They were able to come home later that night when the RCMP said it was safe. Thankful.
...Eliza was at the local high school for a dance for future grade 9's. She was able to go home with Christine and her dad. Thankful.
...Our District Superintendent kept staff informed and schools were closed to keep everyone safe. Thankful.
...There were people who were near him and saw him, and they are alive. Thankful
...The RCMP were able to use Twitter to communicate with us. Thankful.
...A friend's son who was biking in the area during the shooting was kept safe and she was able to get to him and his friend. Thankful.
...A friend and her family were at a ball game nearby. Their oldest son was home alone but safe. Thankful.
...Two daughters of a friend were biking, saw officers and went a different direction. Thankful.
...Friends were walking nearby as they waited to pick up their daughter from a school event. They heard something and then a police officer drove by and commanded they go inside to be safe. Someone asked them into their home. Thankful.
...A friend, whose husband is with the RCMP, said "God sent the rain." On the second night, the weather was cooler and the heat-seeking plane was better able to help locate him. Thankful.
...There are countless ways, known and unknown, that the RCMP protected us. Thankful.
...People are showing their love and appreciation for our heroes and their families. Thankful.
While things have changed for us here, we will hold to God's unchanging hand.
Photo Source: Wayne Moore