Montreal Polytechnique massacre remembrance

Twenty years is a long time but it is not long enough for us to forget, or justify doing so.

Twenty years ago today 14 women were shot to death by Marc Lepine at Montreal’s L’ecole Polytechnique in 1989.The crazed gunman that horrific fateful day decided to blame women for his own failures, gunning down his 14 victims while they were at school.

Pay attention enough and there is always a vigil, a commemoration or day of action of some kind for a variety of causes. From where I sit, remembering the Polytechnique massacre is important, women were targeted for simply being women. These victims were someone’s sister, best friend or girlfriend. They were lives taken too soon for simply being who they were thanks to the genetic code ticket they received in the lottery of life.

The political gamesmanship that unfolds now as the 20th anniversary of Dec.6,1989 is both appalling and telling of how we can cloud a simple thing like remembrance. Also, here’s a great column on the current Tory government’s record on violence against women.

No life is perfect. No judicial or educational system is perfect. When Lepine and monsters like him choose to unleash their fury and frustrations to justify their shortcomings, it is as selfish an act as can be. Your genetic code ticket is that of “man” so be that, “man-up”, suck-it-up and try to improve your life instead of dragging others down.

However, beyond the monsters, many of us are to blame, both men and women. We do no fight hard enough to ensure legislative safeguards are in place to reduce violence.

Thanks to being raised by some very strong women role models and counting more females among my friend ranks than males, when I think of Dec. 6, 1989, it hits home.

If I were to lose any of them to the whims of madman, it is not just their companionship but the life lessons learned in knowing them which I would be cheated of. Those are the losses the friends and families of Polytechnique victims suffered and remember starkly today. That is why we should remember them too.


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