The Canadian and union flags at head office of Local 793 of the International Union of Operating Engineers were at half mast on October 23 in respect of Corporal Nathan Cirillo who was fatally shot in Ottawa.

Following is a message from Local 793 Business Manager Mike Gallagher.

As business manager of Local 793 of the International Union of Operating Engineers, I would like to express my condolences to the family of Corporal Nathan Cirillo who was tragically gunned down at the National War Memorial near Parliament Hill in Ottawa on October 22.

I would also like to express my deepest sympathies to all the members of the Canadian Armed Forces.

This was an appalling and truly cowardly act by would-be terrorist Michael Zehaf-Bibeau. He shot Cirillo point-blank while he was standing guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Cirillo, 24, was a proud reservist with the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders regiment in Hamilton. He was on guard with his friend and fellow reservist, Corporal Brandon Stevenson.

Cirillo had been given the important honour of guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. He was due to return to Hamilton November 11, after Remembrance Day ceremonies at the War Memorial.

This was the second incident in a week involving soldiers who were targeted and killed. On October 20, Patrice Vincent, a 53-year-old warrant officer was struck by a car and killed in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, about 30 miles from Montreal. Police believe it was an act of terrorism. A car chase ensued and the suspect was shot during a confrontation with police.

The point of Remembrance Day has been driven home by these tragedies. They are a reminder that we should appreciate our freedoms. It is thanks to soldiers like Corporal Nathan Cirillo and Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent, and the countless other Allied and Canadian soldiers who have died overseas, that we have the freedoms we enjoy today.


Mike Gallagher
Business Manager
IUOE Local 793