Nathan Cirillo's young son honours his dad with a puck drop
A young boy with a plastic poppy pinned to the lapel of his jacket walked down a red carpet, waved to the crowd gathered in Hamilton for a hockey game and tossed a puck onto the ice.
Marcus Cirillo, 5, made the puck drop on Sunday at a Minor Bantam game at the Gateway Ice Centre to honour of his father, Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, who was shot and killed on Wednesday while guarding the National War Memorial in Ottawa.
The game was chosen because Cpl. Cirillo’s cousin, Ryan Stepien, plays for the local Hamilton Jr. Bulldogs.
“As Canadians we are very passionate people proud of our country, proud of our sport and this is how we show it,” said organizer Christopher Ogg.
It wasn’t the first on-ice tribute to the fallen soldier.
On Wednesday night, hours after the shootings, the Canadian flag was projected onto the ice in Pittsburgh, Penn., as a mostly-American crowd sang ‘O Canada’ before a game between the Penguins and the Philadelphia Flyers.
Then, on Saturday night, the Toronto Maple Leafs, Ottawa Senators and Montreal Canadiens simultaneously sang the anthem to honour Cpl. Cirillo and Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent, who was killed earlier this week in a separate attack. In another tribute in Ottawa, hockey players surrounded emergency workers and service personnel on the ice.
Also on Sunday, Cpl. Cirillo’s relatives gathered for a private visitation in Hamilton. Ontario’s lieutenant governor, Elizabeth Dowsdeswell, and members of Cirillo’s regiment, the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, also came to pay their respects.
A public visitation for Cpl. Cirillo will take place Monday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the Markey-Dermody Funeral Home in Hamilton.
His full regimental funeral will take place on Tuesday at noon at Christ’s Church Cathedral located in Hamilton.
The funeral will be private, but members of the public wishing to pay their respects can line the route of a funeral procession, which will leave from Bayfront Park at 11 a.m., head south on Bay St. N. and east on York Blvd., before proceeding north on James St. N. to the cathedral.
With a report from CTV Toronto's Heather Wright and with files from The Canadian Press