On December 6th, 1989, 14 people were shot and killed at L'Ecole Polytechnique in what has become known as the Montreal Massacre. Another 23 were injured before the shooter turned the gun on himself. It was, and is, the largest mass murder in Canadian history.
What heinous crime did the victims commit to deserve such a fate? They were born women. After claiming that he was "fighting feminism," the shooter entered a classroom, separated the men from the women, and opened fire. Room by room, he repeated the process. Men who tried to intervene were also shot, though none of them fatally. To dismiss his actions as those of a madman is too easy, and it makes excuses for it. Random thing, crazy guy. Move along, nothing to see here.
As a Canadian, as a woman and as the mother of a daughter in a world where women still die every day simply because they were born a girl, it is my duty to remember. May the mothers who lost daughters on that horrible day take some small comfort in knowing that two decades later... Je me souviens.
I remember seeing footage of the massacre on the news and being shocked that it happened here in Canada. May current and future students never bear witness or fall victim to such violence.
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