December 6th is a painful day for any Canadian old enough to remember the horrific events that took place 21 years ago on this date. The murder of 14 women at Montreal's Ecole Polytechnique (an additional 14 men and women were also shot, but survived) by a lone gunman shocked and devastated the nation, and engendered a disturbing debate about the state of violence against women overall.
Whether one looks back on the incident as the work of a random lunatic or as an extreme point on a continuum of violence against women that continues to permeate our culture, to me the point is to honor the memory of these innocent young women whose lives were so tragically cut short. Please take a moment to read their names, and consider that we have not only lost them as sisters, daughters, friends, and partners, but in the case of the 12 who were engineering students, as women who bravely sought to create their careers in a traditionally male-dominated profession.
December 6th is now Canada's National Day for Remembrance and Action Against Violence Against Women.