Today, my usual and typical travel blog post would consist of exploring Ottawa. I had been feeling particularly nostalgic for the city of Ottawa and all that it has to offer, and my intention was to highlight the “hotspots” of Ottawa for students and tourists alike that wanted to explore the capital city. However, today I feel compelled to take a different stance and approach in light of recent events occurring on October the 22nd, 2014. I feel compelled to highlight the unity and sacrifice that Ottawa has had to endure on such a tragic day indeed.

Living in a city so beautiful and so peaceful I never thought that I would see the day that anyone would want to compromise it. I saw Ottawa as a little safe haven, a place where I could find good friends, fun, exciting places and history, and where I could generally be myself and feel at home.

Even though I will not impart judgment on the atrocities that happened yesterday, what I want to highlight is the solidarity that I felt whilst being in such a terrifying situation. Loved ones from everywhere, around the city and even out of the country, came together and were concerned for my well being, the well being of the entire city, and even strangers that we did not know but managed to reach out to. I felt Ottawa as a city come together as a whole, as a unit, against a threat that we never saw coming.

Therefore, I want to thank Ottawa for not only being a beautiful and wondrous city, but for looking out for every citizen yesterday. Whether it be strangers, law enforcement or colleagues, we all had each other’s back, and that’s what we should all be extremely proud of. In my opinion, that is something that is profound, and something that is found within a city that has heart and soul.

To all my fellow Ottawans out there, I am more than proud to call this place my home. Not only for coming together in a time of need, but for standing strong and not letting anything break our confidence and unity. We are a strong nation, and we should be more than proud of that. So today and for the rest of the week, wear your poppies to remember our fallen soldiers, wear your Canadian pins and be proud of where you come from.

Be grateful, be proud, be strong. Be #OttawaStrong.