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#1 2018-06-11 08:14:13

lw789
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Registered: 2010-10-12
Posts: 990

aces. The former University of G

On the morning of April 15, 2013, I tweeted out the following picture from the concierge lounge inside a hotel in downtown Boston: While thousands of people are running the marathon, this is what Im doing in Boston this morning. A couple of hours later, an unspeakable tragedy would unfold at the finish line at the Boston Marathon. On Wednesday morning, I tweeted out the following picture from our kitchen table in suburban Ottawa: This is how I get prepared for a game day broadcast against the Leafs. And then, less than two hours later, our city was paralyzed by a lone gunman on a shooting spree near Parliament Hill. On each of those days, I started out by tweeting out harmless photos of sugary breakfast cereals. Its a strange coincidence that underscores one important point: On both of those mornings, I didnt give a second thought to my safety or security. Its like they always say, The day started out like any other..... The events on Wednesday in Ottawa brought an eerie sense of deja vu for those of us who were in Boston for the Marathon bombings 18 months ago. In the matter of moments, innocence was shattered and a combination of panic and misinformation quickly filled the void. In Boston, there were rumours of other bombs being planted around the city. Maybe one in the library. One near Faneuil Hall. The TD Garden - where the Senators were scheduled to play the Bruins - was put on lockdown. I remember being on the phone with my wife and trying to reassure her that I was going to be fine - but she wasnt going to feel settled until I walked through our front door. Yesterday in Ottawa, we saw the same misinformation and fear spread throughout our downtown core. There were multiple gunmen. There was a shooting inside the Rideau Centre Mall. Both of those reports turned out to be false, but in the height of the chaos they were treated as fact. Separating fact from fiction can be the most difficult exercise on days like this. Our radio station was in lockdown for most of the day, as were most of the buildings in the shadow of Parliament Hill. I ended up doing a four-hour show from the arena yesterday, with my co-host Shawn Simpson on the other end in the locked-down building downtown. We didnt talk about sports at all, instead opting to read e-mails from our listeners about the tragedy that unfolded in our backyard. There was a combination of fear, anger, panic and sorrow in the messages we read - the same emotions that were running through the citizens of Boston in the hours after the bombing. And now we have another parallel to Boston, with everyone asking the same question: Will this city ever be the same? I was in Boston on several occasions in the days and weeks that immediately followed the Marathon bombing. The #BostonStrong motto took off and filled the city with a sense of pride and defiant love. Anthems sung by Rene Rancourt at the Bruins home games took on a different type of feeling; there was almost a tangible electricity in the air where you could feel the hair standing up on the back of your neck. David Ortiz grabbed a microphone at Fenway Park and boldly declared that Boston was their town and nobody elses. We started to see that same sort of protective love last night with the #MyOttawa and #OttawaStrong hashtags trending on Twitter. Were usually not boastful or arrogant about our hometown, but today we all feel damn proud to say we are from Ottawa. Suddenly, we are in love with Parliament Hill again; its no longer that tourist attraction we drive by to show our relatives when they are visiting town. Thats our building. Thats our downtown. And we are certainly going to find ways to tap into this new-found pride in our city -- just like the folks in Boston did 18 months ago. Im certain the Canadian anthem prior to the Redblacks game at TD Place on Friday night will be an electric experience. The same goes for the anthem before the Senators game at home on Saturday night. But to be honest, the moment that I think will galvanize our city will take place on November 11, when we mark our Remembrance Day ceremonies at the War Memorial site where young Nathan Cirillo was needlessly gunned down. We should all figure out a way on how we can get down to the end of Elgin Street and come together as a community to show how much we love this city and respect those who protect our freedom. And just think of how we will embrace the annual Army Run next fall, when thousands of runners suit up to race in an event that is geared to honour our military. Having been through the Boston Marathon tragedy and seen how that city responded, its somewhat comforting to know that our best days are still ahead of us. 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