Thursday, December 6, 2012

Je me souviens

On December 6th, 1989, 14 people were shot and killed at L'Ecole Polytechnique in what is 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 trivializes his actions. Random violence, crazy man. Move along, nothing to see here.  

I was 14 years old and became aware for the very first time that I could be hated by a complete stranger for no reason at all. As a Canadian, as a woman and as the mother of a daughter in a world where women still die every day 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 more than two decades later... Je me souviens.