Advance View: Remember the names, and stop it

Today is a day to remember.

There are 14 names that we especially should all try to remember today: 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.

There is a fifteenth name too often associated with those names – but it is a name that does not deserve mention in that list. 

In fact, it really doesn’t deserve the honour of a place in our memories – although many people are by now already bringing it to mind.

It always seems more difficult to bring to mind the names of victims than to remember the murderers who made them important to remember. 

That’s not only because there are usually so many more victims than murderers, but because we all seem to have a morbid fascination with people who can commit such heinous acts.

Nevertheless, we will not name the individual who killed 14 women at l’Ecole Polytechnique on Dec. 6, 1989.

They were the women to whom the 14 names above belonged – the young women who died in “the Montreal Massacre.” 

They did not deserve to die, and so they deserve to be remembered – just as all women and girls who die as a result of deliberate acts of gender-based violence must be remembered.

In Canada, more than 60 women are killed by their spousal partners every year – more than one every six days. 

Today, the 25th anniversary of the Montreal Massacre which destroyed so many lives and families, is the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women in Canada.

Remember those 14 young women, and all the others. 

Remembering and being aware are the first steps to put an end to the senseless violence.

– B.G.

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