In these raw moments after the shootings in Ottawa and the previous day’s attack on soldiers in Quebec my heart hurts and I will write down my thoughts as honestly and potentially ill-advised as they may be.

My heart hurts for Canada. My heart hurts for the dead…all of the dead…my heart hurts for the days ahead and the change this will create in my country.

I cannot understand the hatred that can lead a person to do these things and I hope I never understand it. I do feel anger though. I feel a great and welling anger with nowhere to direct it and I know others are feeling this as well.

I am afraid of this most of all.

Canadians are generally slow to anger and thoughtful for the most part on where it needs to be directed. We are a peace-loving people although this has often been seen as weakness by outsiders (and some insiders) but frankly nothing could be further from the truth.

The well of the Canadian heart is very deep; the storehouse of our resolve is even deeper.

We are not warriors…we are something greater…we are the ones who end wars. We are the ones about whom it was written “Greater love has no one than this, that a person lay down their life for their friends.”

We never seek vengeance…we seek to protect those who cannot protect themselves, especially our own.

It is our heritage to sacrifice where others cannot. It is our blood that still soaks the fields of Vimy Ridge in France during WW I where The Canadian corps suffered 10,602 casualties: 3,598 killed and 7,004 wounded during a four day offensive. It is our blood that has been spilled in countless conflicts around the world as we seek to stand between the bullets as a shield for the defenseless.

We are not a violent people and we mourn now as something very un-Canadian is unfolding in our land, but it would be a terrible mistake for others to confuse our stoicism and quiet, thoughtful demeanor for cowardice.

If our history has shown anything it is that we can, when necessary, be as cold and unflinching as our winters and as hard and impassable as our mountains.

We will never start a fight…but no one is better at ending them than we are.

I mourn for my nation and the dead and I pity those who would seek to do us harm in the days ahead.