When I was a boy…

When I was a boy I lived in the north eastern part of France (Metz) and December the 6th was a wonderful and magical day – It was known as Petit Noël and there was a parade with St Nicholas and Père Fouettard and there were gifts and it was grand fun. This memory has always been precious.

Unfortunately 25 years ago on December 6 an event occured that will forever change how I and many see December 6 . On December 6, 1989, fourteen women were murdered at École Polytechnique in Montreal and although on this day I find that I want to remember these wonderful childhood memories I am drawn to a world that I cannot comprehend or really understand. 14 beautiful lives were taken in their prime just because they were women. How can we possibly comprehend such hate and anger?

In these past 25 years there has continued to be a litany of crime focussed solely against women. Yes there have also been crimes against different racial, religious, and ethnic groups as well as everything and anything that human kind seems to be able to dream up. Yet somehow we must find a way to stand up and speak up about all of these events in some way. Why not start with this day – December 6 – a day to remember the lives lost to violence against women but also a day to keep this event alive in our memories so that we can be cognizant of behaviours that lead us down this dark path and work to prevent the growth and development of this unfortunate behaviour.