Friday, June 17, 2011


Yesterday I woke up feeling sick. There was a dead, hard ball in the pit of my stomach and it wouldn't go away. There was a lump in my throat. I felt like I'd been sobbing all night, but I hadn't been. I felt like I'd consumed ten times too much alcohol, but I hadn't. I wanted yesterday to go away.

But my little girl made me smile when we were getting ready to go to work and daycare. She told me that the police were outside last night and it was okay because they look after people. Oh, and as an after thought she said so do firemen and ambulances. We hadn't talked at all about what happened on Wednesday night - she only saw one image on TV and we can't see downtown from our place.

But you see, they closed the Granville Street bridge heading into downtown and her window faces one of the on ramps. Through the cracks in the blinds she could see flashes of red and blue lights and she knew what they were. I heard the pitter patter of little feet running to the window, the clank of the blind as she peeked out, the pitter patter back to bed, and the groans of the springs and the toddler as she jumped back in, not wanted to get caught, multiple times on Wednesday night.

Instead of listening to the radio like we usually do in the mornings, we listened to Raffi and sang along at the top of our lungs. By the time we got to daycare, I was feeling better. By the time I got to my office, I had tears in my eyes. As I pulled away from the daycare, I turned on the radio to hear a live interview from downtown. They were interviewing one of the many marvellous people who decided to go down and help restore our city.

I wished I could have gone down to help clean up with J, but alas, downtown isn't close to my office. But in that moment, all of the embarrassment, disappointment, anger, and sadness that had overwhelmed me from the night before started to melt away.

Because we really are a city of good people. Because we have class. Lots of it. Because the rioters really were just a bunch of hooligans bent destroying anything they could and not really representative of Vancouver, BC or Canada. Because the newest generation at my house believes that those charged with protecting us will and on Wednesday night they showed that, without a doubt, they most certainly will.

As the day progressed the stories of the good samaritans, the heroes, started to emerge. The news reported that police had started making arrests and that people - friends, family, employers, acquaintances - were turning in the hooligans from the night before because, despite their relationship, they felt the hooligans' behaviour was wrong and deserved punishment.

And maybe the world wasn't really as horrible and I thought it was when I woke up.

And so, as a Vancouverite, I need to say thanks.

Thank you to the Vancouver Police Department and all the reinforcements from around the region, the Vancouver Fire Department, the BC Ambulance Service for bravely doing your jobs under stressful and dangerous circumstances.

Thank you to the volunteers who went out yesterday morning and reclaimed our city.

Thank you to the people who left the safety of their homes to defend their neighbourhoods.

Thank you to the good samaritans who risked their own safety to protect public and private property and generally protect our city.

A speedy recovery to our injured emergency workers and good samaritans.

Lessons? Our community is stronger than a few thousand thugs. Our community will band together when needed. Our emergency workers are amazing. Social media doesn't allow for much anonymity.

Tonight I'm going to bed with a much lighter heart.


  1. I still get choked up when I talk about this. I'm just so proud of Vancouver.

  2. Good lord sounds like you guys had a mini apocalypse! Over a hockey game? I thought some of the england football fans were thugs but this is unbelievable! I had no idea this had happened, I'll have a look on google. Just glad your all ok :)
    Hope someone shops that guy on facebook, what a moron!!

  3. I think everyone felt a collective "hangover" the days after the riot. It was shame, embarrassment and just plain disappointment.

    I read in the paper today about the two guys that saved that man trying to protect the Bay. Brought tears to my eyes. One of them was 19...shows that not all young men are testosterone filled morons. Sigh...even typing this I'm getting bye :)

  4. @wonderfullyflo - it was horrible...I heard the guy on Facebook was arrested on Thursday but that was just a rumour. And he's just one of many who thought Facebook and Twitter were good places to brag about it...

    @Heddy - that video made me cry. At work. And then it made me really, really angry.

    There are some interesting stories here: I particularly like the ones from the nurse at St. Paul's and the guy who lives in a tower right by the CBC.