I’ve been trying to think of something to write about the mass shooting in Nova Scotia since it happened. I’m a Cape Breton native, and I know how strong, resilient, and kind our people are. Nova Scotians have survived the Halifax explosion, numerous mining disasters, and economic collapse that looks more like permanent economic stagnation. If there’s one thing I know, it’s that Nova Scotians will work together – they will help each other – and they will heal.
Violence is not new to this world. It might be new to our small idyllic province, but I think it’s important that we realize its potential to happen does not make us lesser of a place. It only takes one man to go off the rails, as we saw, and his actions do not reflect on Nova Scotia as a whole.
I cannot imagine the pain that the families of the victims are going through. Of the two little boys who were present for the murder of their parents, and escaped. I know that you will remember this for the rest of your life. I have faith that your community, your family, and those around you will offer support, and I am sorry that those wounds might never heal.
As a Nova Scotian my thoughts are of home. There are no answers. In the coming months the RCMP will do their thing, there will be questions about emergency precautions. Conversations that people who rarely lock their doors never thought they would have to ask.
I hope Nova Scotia does not lose its sense of innocence. That we do not lose faith in each other, in our neighbors, in helping a stranger we just met. It’s okay to be kind. It’s okay to expect the best of people.
Together we can heal from this. It will take time and resilience, but I have faith in our people.
I want to leave you with the words of Nova Scotia natives, The Rankins…
When the waves roll on over the waters
And the ocean cries
We look to our sons and daughters
To explain our lives
As if a child could tell us why
That as sure as the sunrise
As sure as the sea
As sure as the wind in the trees
We rise again in the faces
Of our children
We rise again in the voices of our song
We rise again in the waves out on the ocean
And then we rise again
When the light goes dark with the forces of creation
Across a stormy sky