This will be a photo heavy post, but here a few words to start…
I wanted to post about this because it was a unique experience that I found to be very powerful. Of course, there was a lot of pomp and ceremony that goes with a state funeral; but there also was a real feeling of being part of something larger. Certainly we saw thousands of people, from City Hall to lining University Ave to King St W outside of Roy Thomson Hall. There were families, couples, singles, people with their bikes, homeless people, men and women equally, young and old, every ethnicity and skin color and sexual orientation you can imagine.
We were all there for essentially the same reasons – Jack and his very public beliefs demonstrated a city/country/community we want part of. I mentioned on facebook, when his death was announced, that I had the opportunity to meet Jack a few times – all at functions for animal/environmental non-profits I believe in and support. I know he was a politician but he could have stuck with using his time for the causes he particularly believed in (or would get him more votes), but he came to these functions to show support, and I think, because he knew it would lend credibility to small grassroots organizations.
Jack was particularly active in municipal politics when Scott and I lived in Toronto. Those were heady days in many regards – we were exposed to so many things that helped form who we are now as people. I personally believe that we should be using green power and bikes to get around, I believe people should be treated with respect, dignity and equality (my definition of humaneness), I believe we need to treat animals humanely, I believe violence against women is fundamentally wrong and needs to be be stopped (actually I believe all violence is wrong), I believe we need to get to the root causes of homelessness and address it in a respectful and useful way. I believe a whole lot of other things that some people may find hard to accept, but these ones I’ve mentioned are just baby steps to creating a better world for everyone.
So, I believe we have to keep working at it! I know many people were moved by Jack’s death and the funeral, hopefully the energy felt will be sustainable to make real change.
Next, the chalk memorial messages.