By Adam Brazeau
CORNWALL, Ontario – Dwayne Doyle stood guard at the Cornwall Cenotaph Saturday morning surrounded by fellow veterans, bikers, and community members, with their heads bowed low but spirits held high.
They gathered to honour Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent, who was killed after being struck in a hit-and-run attack in Quebec on Oct. 20, and Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, who was gunned down days later at the war memorial on Parliament Hill in Ottawa.
“It’s important to show our support – not only as a community, but also to show our resolve as a nation,” said Doyle, 41. “We are not going to bow down in fear like they want us to do.”
The 41-year-old Cornwall resident, who served with the Canadian Forces for 12 years and retired seven years ago, was proud to join veterans and soldiers all across Canada on Oct. 25, as they paid tribute to Cirillo and Vincent by holding vigils at various war memorials, landmarks, and cenotaphs.
Doyle is also a member of the local Canadian Motorcycle Cruisers (CMC). Of the 25 people at the cenotaph, nearly half were bikers.
“We’re here to support the troops,” said Cornwallite Steph St. Louis, a member of the Road Snakes Riders Club.
A candlelight vigil hosted by the Friends of Vets was originally scheduled for Oct. 22 to honour Canadian soldiers and RCMP officers lost to suicide. But due to the recent senseless tragedies, for safety reasons it was postponed. The peer support group will decide a future date at their next group meeeting.
Denis Labbe, Friends of Vets vice-president, wanted to do his part to draw attention to the loss of his fallen brothers in arms.
“We want to let everyone know we are not afraid to wear our medals just because someone killed a soldier,” said Labbe. “I’m proud to be here and it means a lot that people are doing this all over Canada.”