They were someone’s sister, daughter, best friend or girlfriend. They were targeted by a weak-willed, gun-wielding man because they were women. Fourteen young women lost their lives 21years ago today. Take a moment to remember this tragedy, they could have been someone close to you and still could be because the hate that created Dec. 6, 1989 at Montreal’s L’Ecole Polytechnique still exists.
Twenty-one years ago today the monster Marc Lepine decided to blame women for his own failures and gunned down his 14 victims at school, playing judge and executioner from hallway to hallway, room to room, as he stalked Polytechnique’s halls.
When Lepine and monsters like him choose to unleash their fury and frustrations to justify their shortcomings, it is a cowardly and selfish act. However, beyond the monsters, many of us are to blame too, both men and women. We do no fight hard enough to ensure legislative safeguards are in place to reduce violence. We do not fight or merely acquiesce to the injustices and mistreatment of women, whether it is in the workplace or in the home.
I am lucky enough to have been raised by some very strong women role models and count more females among my friends and colleagues than males. When I think of them and then think of Dec. 6, 1989, it strikes a deep chord. To think of possibly losing any of them to a madman angers me, it frustrates me, it reminds me to stand and count myself among the fighters for equality and most importantly, common decency and respect.
Do not forget the unwilling price 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 and Annie Turcotte all paid.
They could have been your sister, your daughter, your best friend, your girlfriend, your wife….