Thoughts on culture, education, and having been a Canadian in the US
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Montreal massacre victims to be remembered

Every year on December 6, I mark the anniversary of the Montreal Massacre by taking a moment of silence in class after reading the names of the murdered women. Talking to my students, the vast majority of whom have never heard of the events of 15 years ago even though it happened only about 90 minutes from here, I cannot help but compare the lives of the murdered women with those of my female students.

This story from the Globe and Mail reminds us of the lives behind each of these names.

Every year, in memorial ceremonies across the country, Genevieve Bergeron’s name is heard first when the list of the victims of Canada’s worst mass shooting is read.

The tragedy of her death overshadows her life for most Canadians. They’re seldom told she was a loving, inspirational sister, a top student, a gifted musician and a talented athlete.

I particularly like what Catherine Bergeron says about how we should remember her sister:

Catherine Bergeron acknowledges the gun law is part of her sister’s legacy but it’s not the only way she wants her to be remembered.

“I would like Canadians to remember her and the other 13 women, not to be sad but to go on in life in a better way,” she said.

“Think more about other human beings and be more open. More tolerant too.”

I hope we can all find some time in our classes on Monday, December 6 to remember the following young women in this way:

Victims of the Montreal Massacre at l’École Polytechnique on December 6, 1989

Geneviève Bergeron

Hélène Colgan

Nathalie Croteau

Barbara Daigneault

Anne-Marie Edward

Maud Haviernick

Barbara Klucznik Widajewicz

Maryse Laganière

Maryse Leclair

Anne-Marie Lemay

Sonia Pelletier

Michèle Richard

Annie St-Arneault

Annie Turcotte

In Canada, December 6 is the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women in Canada. Established in 1991 by the Parliament of Canada, this day coincides with the sad anniversary of the death of fourteen young women who were tragically killed on December 6, 1989 at l’École Polytechnique in Montréal because of their gender.