For the whole flight from Toronto they’ve ridden tight herd on their two children, taking in stride, like any young parents, the repeated washroom trips for their youngest, curious son.
Now, he’s alone, trailing his fingertips across the moving silver plates of the rotating luggage carousel. His parents don’t even seem to notice, so concerned about one aspect of security that they’d forgotten an even more basic one.
It’s pouring rain the next morning, and at breakfast in a downtown hotel, the conversation that floats up from every table carries snatches of a similar topic: he was carrying a rifle, he commandeered a car, he was a terrorist — was he a terrorist?
Even though I’m not there, I can imagine the same conversations in the Tim Hortons in Wolfville — the Tim Hortons directly across the street from the town hall that is the central marshaling point for public opinion. Or the discussion in the Wolfville fire station, or at the back-of-the-convenience-store laundromat in Digby.
Free, open discussion in a free country: it is a wonderful thing, and a cornerstone of who we are. No one I saw talking was looking over their shoulder, wondering who was watching or listening. The only checking of identity papers was at the airline check-in, and it was being done by airline staff.
It’s harsh to say this — harsh to say it so quickly after the deaths of two Canadian soldiers in two different attacks. But there are people in this country…