MONTREAL – Canadians are commemorating the 28th anniversary of the Montreal Massacre when a gunman shot 14 women to death and injured 14 other people.
Dignitaries, citizens and families of victims are taking part in two official events today to mark the tragedy that took place Dec. 6, 1989 at Ecole polytechnique.
Representatives from the school laid bouquets of red, white and pink roses in front of a commemorative plaque outside the school in a brief outdoor ceremony this morning.
The head of the school’s board of directors says the white rose has become a symbol of the victims in the years following the tragedy.
Later, a ceremony for the 14 victims will then be held at 5 p.m. at the lookout atop Mount Royal Park. Deputy premier Dominique Anglade, Mayor Valerie Plante and Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, the wife of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, are scheduled to attend.
Fourteen light beams will be installed at the lookout representing the 14 women and will shine light into the night sky between 5 p.m. and 10 p.m.
Heidi Rathjen, a former Ecole polytechnique student and witness to the massacre, said it is still important to remember what happened 28 years ago.
“It’s pertinent to talk about it with regard to gun control,” said Rathjen, who helped start a group that lobbies for tighter firearm regulations.
The anniversary of the shooting is a good time to discuss guns laws in Canada “in order to diminish the chances that this kind of tragedy happens again,” she said.