Thursday, December 8, 2016

Candles for December 6

Evening Light

Photo: December 6, 2016

Dates have feelings attached to them - some filled with joy and some with sorrow and some may be tinged with both. As my late husband was Dutch, I always tried to celebrate Sinterklaas  (December 6) with my children - filling their shoes with marzipan, chocolate letters and other Dutch inspired treats. We liked to celebrate anything we could in December. The dark days, which could easily provoke a seasonal sadness, were enlivened by our sillyness - from Sinterklaas to Christmas, from Hanukkah to Festivus, we made our days more fun.

But December 6, since 1989, has been also associated with sorrow - the anniversary of the shootings at École Polytechnique, the engineering school at the Université de Montréal. Fourteen women lost their lives; another fourteen were injured. We must never forget them and what they represent - women who were studying to enter a fairly male-dominated profession, killed simply because they were women. Misogyny exists in many forms. While this was an extreme example, there is still a long way to go in fighting for equality for women, to stop the objectification and to encourage women to follow their dreams.

And so we remember
Geneviève Bergeron
Hélène Colgan
Nathalie Croteau
Barbara Daigneault
Anne-Marie Edward
Maud Haviernick
Maryse Laganière
Maryse Leclair
Anne-Marie Lemay
Sonia Pelletier
Michèle Richard
Annie St-Arneault
Annie Turcotte
Barbara Klucznik-Widajewicz

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