Ottawa ceremony to mark one year since gunman stormed Parliament Hill
Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, left, and Patrice Vincent, right, are shown in undated photos. (Facebook, Department of National Defence)
Two soldiers who were killed on Canadian soil in Oct., 2014, will be commemorated in a ceremony that coincides with the one-year anniversary of the Parliament Hill shooting.
Governor General David Johnston, Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson, and the families of Cpl. Nathan Cirillo and Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent, are expected to attend the ceremony at the National War Memorial on Thursday morning.
On Oct. 22, 2014, a gunman stormed Parliament Hill and shot Cirillo in the back while he was standing as a ceremonial guard at the memorial. The gunman then stormed Parliament Hill's Centre Block where he fired dozens of shots before he was shot dead. The attack in Ottawa came just two days after Vincent was killed in Quebec by jihadist sympathizer Martin Couture-Rouleau.
Thursday's ceremony will include a 21-gun salute, a wreath-laying, and a fly-past of four CF-18s in the "missing man" formation. The Governor General is also scheduled to make a speech.
- CTV News’ special coverage of the ceremony will be broadcast on CTV News Channel and streamed online at CTVNews.ca beginning at 10:30 a.m. ET
Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, who shot Cirillo, recorded a video message before the Parliament Hill attack, in which he said his actions were "in retaliation for Afghanistan" and other Canadian military missions. Couture-Rouleau, who drove his car into two soldiers and killed Vincent, was a radicalized Quebec man who had been on the RCMP's radar.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper said at the time that the soldiers’ deaths were grim reminders that Canada is not immune to terrorist attacks.
The attacks prompted new legislation, Bill C-51, to crack down on homegrown extremists.