#MyOttawa Is A Unique And Powerful Response to the Ottawa Shooting — PHOTOS
On Wednesday, Ottawa became the latest capital to face a terrorist attack, when a gunman stormed Canada's Parliament hill and opened fire, leaving one man dead and several injured. The incident has rocked the peaceful nation and left the city forever marked — but Canadians are having none of it. In the face of the tragedy, the hashtag #myottawa is responding to the Ottawa shooting by refusing to let the city be defined by this attack. And it's pretty friggin' awesome.
The incident began at the National War Memorial Wednesday morning, when a man — now identified as 32-year-old Canadian Michael Zehaf-Bibeau — walked in, dressed in black and armed with a rifle. He went up to one of the ceremonial guards and fatally shot him, ten times, at point-blank range. Zehaf-Bibeau then reportedly put up his arms "in triumph," made his way to the main Canadian Parliament building, and opened fire. Chaos ensued: shots echoed through the halls as police exchanged rounds with the attacker, while more cops made their way into the city. People were told to stay indoors and keep away from the windows. The entire area was put on lockdown.
It was only a matter of hours before Zehaf-Bibeau was fatally shot by the police and, luckily, no more deaths were reported. As of Thursday morning, Parliament was already back in session, though as Canadian MP John Williamson said in a Tweet: "Parliament Hill is never going to be the same."
It would have been easy — even natural — to dwell in the terror of yesterday's incident. It's an unimaginably scary thing, to have to your city targeted. But as Prime Minister Stephen Harper's put it: “Canada will never be intimidated.” Instead of posting Tweets about terrorism, about violence, about gun control or about ISIS, Ottawa residents have taken a different route. They're showing the world the beauty of the city and what it means to them, resisting having it defined by the terrorist. It's comforting, and it's moving, and it's brave. Above all, though, it's powerful.
Have a look at the photos, and have some tissues ready:
Don't you just love Canada more than ever?