Tuesday, December 06, 2005


Remembering the victims at L’Ecole Polytechnique

On December 6th, 1989, Marc Lepine changed the way the Canadians view firearms - for better or worse. It was on that day that 14 young women lost their lives to a deranged lunatic’s hate at L’Ecole Polytechnique in Montréal and their admission policies. This year marks the 16th anniversary of that tragic event.

What exactly happened? Lepine simply walked into a classroom of 60 engineering students at Montreal's Ecole Polytechnique and interrupted a lecture. He then asked the women to move to one side of the room and the men to leave. A few people laughed, but no one moved. Lepine then lifted a semi-automatic rifle, fired two shots into the ceiling and yelled, "You're all a bunch of feminists, and I hate feminists."

Six women in the room were immediately shot dead. Lepine then went on a rampage, stalking women through the halls, cafeteria and classrooms, gunning down 27 and taking the lives of 14, before eventually turning the gun on himself.

In 1991, Canada’s Parliament declared December 6 a National Day of Mourning, and the National Day to End Violence Against Women.

Let us remember each of these women by name:

Genevieve Bergeron, 21
Helene Colgan, 23
Nathalie Croteau, 23
Barbara Daigneault, 22
Anne-Marie Edward, 21
Maud Haviernick, 29
Barbara Marie Klueznik, 31
Maryse Leclair, 23
Annie St. Arneault, 23
Michele Richard, 21
Maryse Langaniere, 25
Anne-Marie Lemay, 22
Sonia Pelletier, 28
Annie Turcotte, 21.

These women had their potential eliminated on that fateful day and are the beloved daughters, sisters and friends whose spirit, vitality and intelligence are deeply missed to this day and lost to the world forever.

Having attended a number of these ceremonies at the University of Saskatchewan during my studies, I can tell you how necessary these vigils and ceremonies are. This event should never be forgotten.

A good CBC story on the event is here.

Great post.

I was surprised, maybe even shocked, at the lack of coverage of the 16th anniversary of the tragedy here in Montreal.

La Presse had nothing in its paper edition and little on its website. Radio-Canada, although it has a great archive page on the subject, had zero on its main page.

We need to remember. It is vital.

I've met Anne-Marie Edward's mother on a few occasion and one only has to talk to her or listen to one of her speeches to get an indication of how deeply this tragedy has affected the families of the victims. This is much more than 14 lost souls.
Post a Comment

<< Home