Thousands mourn murder of Canadian soldier Nathan Cirillo

World Today

Canadians on Tuesday bid an emotional goodbye to soldier Nathan Cirillo, who was killed nearly a week ago in an attack at the country’s national war memorial. Cirillo’s death is now driving discussion about how to prevent such tragedies in the future. CCTV America’s Kristiaan Yeo reports.

Thousands of people lined along the streets in Hamilton, Ontario, to pay their respects to the 24-year-old reservist who was killed in last Wednesday’s gun rampage in Ottawa. Cirillo was a standing guard at the tomb of the unknown soldier at Canada’s national war memorial when he was fatally shot. Now this soldier’s name is known, celebrated and mourned around the world.

Cirillo was given full military honors, the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, by his regiment. Prime Minister Stephen Harper was visibly choked as he delivered his eulogy, in which he said Canada was forever indebted to Cirillo and soldiers like him.

“These monuments remind us that freedom is never free. It has been earned by the soldier and donated to all of us,” Harper said.

Across the country, service members joined the public in watching live screenings of the service.

Thousands mourn murder of Canadian soldier Nathan Cirillo

Thousands mourn murder of Canadian soldier Nathan Cirillo

Canadians on Tuesday bid an emotional goodbye to soldier Nathan Cirillo, who was killed nearly a week ago in an attack at the country's national war memorial. Cirillo's death is now driving discussion about how to prevent such tragedies in the future. CCTV America's Kristiaan Yeo reports.

Meanwhile in the Canadian capital, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrived to pay his respects and to meet with his counterpart, Canada’s Foreign Minister John Baird. Canada and America’s co-operation on counter-terror intelligence and security is at the top of the agenda.

“Together, on this side of the Atlantic and overseas we will defeat the advocates of terror, expose hypocrisy and win the battle of ideas,” John Kerry said.

Kerry’s visit comes at a time when the Canadian Parliament is considering handing more spying to powers to Canada’s intelligence agency and is working closer with allies like the U.S., UK, Australia and New Zealand.

The government said it must strike a balance between overreacting and underreacting to last week’s events. However, opposition leaders and the public have yet to be convinced about the need for more snooping, in the name of security.

Police said Michael Bibeau, the attacker, did little planning before his rampage, so some question whether spying on him have made a difference? Many suggest that Canada’s gun laws, which were relaxed two years ago, are where policymakers should be focusing their efforts first.