Hundreds of people attended the October 1 peace vigil organized by the Alberta Muslim Public Affairs Council, including numerous people from the McCauley and Boyle Street neighbourhoods. Paula E. Kirman
On September 30, we were settling down for our “date night,” searching Netflix for something to watch. There was also an Eskimo-Winnipeg Blue Bombers game, with a late start of 7:30 p.m. Most of the people had made it to the game already, with a few stragglers walking past our house. Two sonic booms startled us and rattled our windows as jets flew overhead for a military tribute at the beginning of the football game.
We decided to peel the last of our apples to freeze while watching our film. Dark figures ran past our house and all of a sudden there were flashing lights, lots of police cars, an ambulance racing down 92 Street past our house, then, racing back up 92 Street minutes later. We knew it as serious when we saw officers running past our house with what looked like sub-machine guns. Police cars blocked off our intersection, which has easy access to the back entrance to the Stadium.
What to do? Keep peeling apples, and watch the Netflix film and the drama outside our house unfold.
It didn’t stop: a Global TV van and pylons blocked our intersection, police lights flashed in our alley, people began to leave the game. Those parked outside our house could not leave and were stuck for a while. Then, to add to the drama, fireworks! At first we were afraid it was gunfire.
What to do? Go watch the fireworks from our kitchen window, intermingling with the police flashing lights in our alley.
Then, my husband checked for breaking news and we got the early picture: officer stabbed, his vehicle rammed, suspect fled up 92 Street, right by our house. There was no word of a possible terrorist attack in that first news update.
Finally, although our intersection was still blocked off, the police cars had left, so, we turned in around mid-night. We did not know about the continuing drama and terror inflicted upon young Edmontonians out for a night of fun at venues along Jasper Avenue until the next morning.
What to do? We walked down to City Hall on that cold, blustery Sunday night to be part of the community vigil on October 1 organized by the Alberta Muslim Public Affairs Council, to sign our names to the solidarity posters, to be encouraged by all of the speakers.
The messages were strong and clear: We are one community, in all our diversity.