We Will Not Be Intimidated


Today my Parliament went on as planned. Our Prime Minister’s promise that “We will not be intimidated” was shown in action.

First, our duly elected Members of Parliament gathered in the House, and then reporters and staffers lined the Hall of Honour to await the hero of the day, Sergeant-at-Arms Vickers. As he processed in, wearing his traditional dress, he was met by applause in the Hall and then walked to the House doors, where he entered in under a thunderous standing ovation by our national representatives. Every Canadian is represented in that room, their applause was our applause.

Vickers walked in, placed the mace in its receptacle, bowed to the throne, and then walked to his traditional place. The applause never stopped.

The thing I was most taken aback by was that on his face was not the look of pride in a  job well done, not the look of a hero basking in his well-deserved praise, it was an emotional humility.

This is a man who throughout his entire career in law enforcement and security never fired his weapon, never took a life. Yesterday, he bore the sword in all of our defence, the very sword that he symbolically bears on his belt on our behalf. I am unaware of any example in the Commonwealth wherein the Sergeant-at-Arms was forced to take up arms personally to defend the House, and when he did it, it was done with surety and aplomb.

But he looked not proud, but a little sad at the attention. His little nods to acknowledge the praise were slow, as if weighted down with the burden of his actions.

We should pray for him. We should pray that he is able to come to terms with what he has done through his vocation.

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