C.S. Lewis once said: "How monotonously alike are all the great tyrants and conquerors have been: how gloriously different the saints."
The young man who murdered the Canadian soldier in front of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Ottawa on October 22, 2014 was a Canadian. They were probably close in age and valued the same things--family, children, faith, freedom.
The difference between those two young men (now both dead) is that one of them understood the meaning of the word "freedom" and one did not. One death will further the cause of freedom and one will not.
A Canadian soldier was run over earlier this week by an extremist who was known to Quebec police and a spokesperson explained why they had not detained him. "We cannot arrest someone for what is in his thoughts. For what is his beliefs."
That is freedom. Get it? The Canadian soldier died to preserve the freedom of the Canadian who had killed him. To safeguard the guy's freedom to express extremist beliefs without fear of arrest. That is the hardcore price of democracy and that is why terrorists and tyrants will never beat it down.
History has proven again and again that despots and dictators gravely overestimate the power of fear and gravely underestimate the power of free will. You can't force anything down anyone's throat for very long. Democratic nations have learned this through trial and error for centuries. We're still learning. But whatever mistakes we might make, there is no going back for us. The foundation of every democratic nation is freedom. We are willing to die for it. In great numbers. Nothing will stop us if it is threatened.
Two Canadian soldiers were killed this month by two Canadians who did not understand the truth of their lives, but instead chose to believe a myth. That is the real tragedy in this story.
Two men had faith and two men did not. Guess which two.