Sentry on duty with Cpl. Nathan Cirillo on day of shooting set to return to post

The young corporal who was standing sentry alongside Cpl. Nathan Cirillo the day he was killed is set to return to duty — though he admits it won’t be easy.

OTTAWA — The young corporal who was standing sentry alongside Cpl. Nathan Cirillo the day he was killed is set to return to duty — though he admits it won’t be easy.

“I still believe Canada is a nation of peace where soldiers within its borders need not take up arms,” Cpl. Branden Stevenson said in a statement Monday.

“My fellow soldiers and I remain proud and committed to watching over the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier as a strong, silent reminder of every person who made the ultimate sacrifice.”

Stevenson was at the National War Memorial on the morning of Oct. 22 when Michael Zehaf Bibeau killed Cirillo and then stormed onto Parliament Hill, where he died in a gunfight in the Centre Block.

Stevenson said he is still in shock and grieving the loss of his best friend, whom he’d known since Grade 9 and whose love of the military inspired him to follow in Cirillo’s footsteps.

They were always laughing and joking about something and the morning of Oct. 22 was no different, he said.

“As we stood sentry and walked the beat, one of my socks was sagging. Nathan smiled and intentionally kept our walk going so my sock would fall a little more,” he said.

“He had such an amazing personality!”

Eyewitness accounts of that morning suggested Bibeau fired at Stevenson as well, but missed. Stevenson then ran to Cirillo’s side to help bystanders administer first aid.

Stevenson said he’s choosing to return to work to honour Cirillo and Warrant Officer Patrice Vincent, who was killed that same week in Quebec by a man with jihadist sympathies.

Funerals for both men were held last week.

Hundreds of mementoes left at the National War Memorial over the last 10 days to honour Cirillo and Vincent were removed by government workers over the weekend to prepare the site for next week’s Remembrance Day ceremonies.

Stevenson said he was overwhelmed the outpouring of support.

“Nathan Cirillo was my friend, my best friend, my brother,” he said. “I will miss him forever.”

Just Posted

WATCH: Setters Place grand opening in Red Deer

Red Deer’s Setters Place officially opened to the public Saturday afternoon.… Continue reading

Women’s marches underway in Canadian cities, a year after Trump inauguration

Women are gathering in dozens of communities across the country today to… Continue reading

Red Deer councillor balks at city getting stuck with more funding responsibilities

Volunteer Central seeks municipal funding after being cut off by government

Olds chicken barn burns to the ground, no livestock harmed

More than 100,000 chickens were saved as fire crews prevent the blaze from spreading

Bear video meant to promote conservation: zoo owner

Discovery Wildlife Park says it will look at other ways to promote its conservation message

In photos: Get ready for Western Canadian Championships

Haywood NorAm Western Canadian Championships and Peavey Mart Alberta Cup 5/6 start… Continue reading

WATCH: Red Deer city council debates cost-savings versus quality of life

Majority of councillors decide certain services are worth preserving

Got milk? Highway reopened near Millet

A southbound truck hauling milk and cartons collided with a bridge

Stettler’s newest residents overcame fear, bloodshed to come here

Daniel Kwizera, Diane Mukasine and kids now permanent residents

Giddy up: Red Deer to host Canadian Finals Rodeo in 2018

The CFR is expected to bring $20-30 million annually to Red Deer and region

Ice dancers Virtue and Moir to carry flag at Pyeongchang Olympics

Not since Kurt Browning at the 1994 Lillehammer Games has a figure… Continue reading

Beer Canada calls on feds to axe increasing beer tax as consumption trends down

OTTAWA — A trade association for Canada’s beer industry wants the federal… Continue reading

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month