Today I pause and reflect. It is December 6. It is the 26th anniversary of the Polytechnique massacre – when 14 women were killed in an engineering school in Montreal, Canada.
I was a first year student at the University of Victoria at the time (December 1989). I was studying physics. It could have happened at my school too. It could have been me.
And so, every year, on December 6th, I pause and reflect. It is especially poignant given the number of mass shootings that happen at schools in the US every year – so many that it is no longer considered news, we are desensitized to it. It wasn’t even talked about at the Big Ideas Fest conference I attended these last few days. Here, it is the elephant in the room.
I will not repeat the name of the shooter here. He doesn’t deserve it. I will, however, share the names of the victims. They are the ones that should be remembered:
- Geneviève Bergeron (born 1968), civil engineering student
- Hélène Colgan (born 1966), mechanical engineering student
- Nathalie Croteau (born 1966), mechanical engineering student
- Barbara Daigneault (born 1967), mechanical engineering student
- Anne-Marie Edward (born 1968), chemical engineering student
- Maud Haviernick (born 1960), materials engineering student
- Maryse Laganière (born 1964), budget clerk in the École Polytechnique’s finance department
- Maryse Leclair (born 1966), materials engineering student
- Anne-Marie Lemay (born 1967), mechanical engineering student
- Sonia Pelletier (born 1961), mechanical engineering student
- Michèle Richard (born 1968), materials engineering student
- Annie St-Arneault (born 1966), mechanical engineering student
- Annie Turcotte (born 1969), materials engineering student
- Barbara Klucznik-Widajewicz (born 1958), nursing student<