HAMILTON – A full regimental funeral was held Tuesday for Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, the 24-year-old soldier shot to death at the National War Memorial in Ottawa.
Cirillo’s cousin Jenny Holland was among those who spoke at the service. Here is a transcript of her remarks:
Nathan has become Canada’s hero.
To our family, he is a son, a father, brother, uncle, nephew and cousin. And we would like to share a few of our memories of him.
Right from the start, we knew that Nathan was special.
He was always full of excitement and we never knew what his next adventure would be, from coming home covered in mud after playing paintball to surprising us with his motorcycle.
Even as a child, Nathan spent his summer days waking up early, bursting to go outside to meet his friends. His contagious smile and endless laughter were some of the reasons why he made friends so easily.
When asking our family for stories they would like to share about Nathan, there were so many special memories it was impossible to share them all.
One funny memory was an Easter egg hunt when Nathan was the smart one that grabbed a wagon to run around with, so that he could get the most treats in the
quickest time. Well, some of our other cousins were whining.
Some of you may not be aware that Nathan was meticulous. Not only was he a well-groomed man, he was very particular about his belongings. Everything had its own place.
Nathan was a dishwasher pro. He would rearrange the entire dishwasher to perfectly place every dish to his standards. But it’s no wonder he was like this as his mom was his original drill surgeon. After all, it was quoted by the mayor that her house is as clean as a whip.
Nathan had a genuine interest in military history and a love for the outdoors. With his boundless energy, it was no surprise to his loved ones when he became a cadet.
As a family, it was an absolute joy watching Nathan grow from an eager cadet to a dedicated corporal.
Aside from his devotion to the Argylls, Nathan was sincere and respectful, especially to elders. He never hesitated to help, whether it was carrying in groceries or opening a door, he was always willing to lend a hand.
Nathan may have looked like a big tough man, but he was such a kid at heart. It was beautiful to see the joy he had while playing with his son. Marcus adored him so much. Not only was Nathan his dad, he was also his friend.
Growing up, Nathan, Nicole and Natasha may have fought like cats and dogs, like most families do. But the three of them did everything together.
Every year, they looked forward to their trip to Darien Lake, a family reunion and celebrating birthdays and holidays together. These are the family values and ideals that were instilled to them by their mom and Vic.
There was always a dog in the Cirillo home. Even though they were only little poodles, Nathan couldn’t wait to get his own place so he could get a real dog. You know, the kind that shed and drool and walk you.
Kaya and Jagger were extremely lucky to have been trained and deeply loved by Nathan.
I hope that when we think of Nathan, these are some of the things that we remember.