Soldiers practice for Cirillo memorial

(Updated) More than 2,000 people paid their respects to Corporal Nathan Cirillo today at the Markey-Dermody funeral home in Hamilton. And as mourners gathered, the Argylls were on James St, rehearsing for tomorrow’s full regimental funeral. The sound of bagpipes drifting from Christ’s Church Cathedral gave a sense of what is to come. They marched from the armouries to the church, twice going back to do it again; making sure everything is perfect for Tuesday’s funeral. People living on James looked out their windows to see history in the making. “I saw the procession and I was doing homework. It was breathtaking. I’m so sad for Nathan’s family.”At the funeral home, mourners lined up until the doors closed to pay their respects.“Nathan and I used to walk the dogs together in downtown Hamilton. We came across an abandoned dog, he was starving so we took him in.”“He ended up taking the dog home and his son fell in love with him so I let him keep Jagger.”“He would sit and talk to anyone for any amount of time about the army. He was very proud to be in the army.”And some members of the army, such as Captain Rick Towey, say they are comforted by the outpouring of love from the community. “It’s very reassuring to see the level of support that the Canadian Army is receiving for this and the Argylls and I’m sure the family is very grateful.”As we saw when the procession bringing Cpl Cirillo back to Hamilton arrived Friday night, once again people are expected to line the route ahead of the funeral service tomorrow. The procession will begin at the Argyll commemorative pavilion at Bayfront Park, starting at 10:30 am. It will then head south along Bay St, east along York Blvd, turning left on James and ending at Christ’s Church Cathedral.The invitation-only service is scheduled to begin at noon tomorrow, but we will be broadcasting and streaming it live on CHCH and, and inside FirstOntario Centre at York and Bay. And an important note for anyone going to FirstOntario Centre: police say no bags or knapsacks will be permitted due to safety concerns. After the service, military units and uniformed service members are asked to form up on the south side of York Blvd to pay final respects as the procession passes on route to a private internment. With all this happening it’s important to note a number of streets will be closed, and parking will be off-limits on several streets in the downtown core tomorrow. Anyone living or working in the area from York to Queen, down to Stuart and over to John should double-check any parking because there will be changes. These streets will also be closed to traffic. In Ottawa, public tours resumed on Parliament Hill. The area was off-limits to people last week. Visitors are being told to expect a heightened RCMP presence at all entrances,and there were plenty of people lining up to see Parliament. The flag there remains at half-mast. Also today, counseling sessions began for House of Commons staff.

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