On this Day, 14 Names that Must be Remembered

By Jason Menard

There are other days when their names can be obscured and their deaths conscripted to a larger cause. There are other days when the killer’s name will be spoken (and, all too often, we remember the victimizers more than the victims).

Today is not that day. Today is the day we must 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; and
  • Barbara Klucznik-Widajewicz

How you choose to acknowledge this day is up to you. I appreciate that some choose to recognize December 6th as the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. I can’t fault you for that. However, if that is the route you choose to take, I just hope that at some point today you will reflect upon these names.

It was a day of violence against these women that changed Canada. Yet here we are, over 20 years later, with a new generation that may not know any of their names. They know the date; they know the concept; but these women were not abstracts. They were living, breathing Canadians whose lives were snuffed out by a madman.

I remember their names because to allow their identities to be lost over time allows their murderer to succeed. Today, I choose to remember these 14 women. Tomorrow and the day after and beyond, they can be conscripted into a cause they had no intention of joining on Dec. 6, 1989.

But today, I choose to honour their memories alone.

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