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The Quest for Heroes by Peggy Curran in The Montreal Gazette

In the minutes after the gunman fired an old family hunting rifle at the beautiful young soldier in the kilt guarding the National War Memorial, a different narrative began to take shape.

A small group of Samaritans — a nurse, a lawyer, fellow soldiers — rushed to Nathan Cirillo’s side, cradling his head and whispering kindnesses while pounding his chest in a desperate, futile, bid to save his life.

It might not work, but they had to try.

And when the 32-year old shooter made his way into the sanctity of Parliament, prowling the Hall of Honour in a crazed search for fresh prey, he was confronted by what might seem to some an improbable assailant.

Kevin Vickers, 58, 29 years a Mountie but more recently a proud son of the Miramichi who wore the ceremonial black robe of the Sergeant at Arms, emerged from the safety of his office, rolled across the polished floor with the finesse of an action movie stuntman and emptied his service weapon into the intruder who had brought Ottawa to a standstill.

Inevitably, we ask ourselves what we would have done — wisely run for safe cover, or boldly onto the open slab where a young man charged with standing watch at the

tomb of long dead soldier now lay dying himself? Read More

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