Polytechnique shooting anniversary: tributes planned in Montreal

"We will always remember them," says a University of Montreal Student as she remembers the 14 women who were tragically killed in the 1989 Polytechnique massacre 33 years ago. Felisha Adam reports.

By The Canadian Press & News Staff

A solemn wreath-laying ceremony was held Tuesday to mark the 33rd anniversary of the Ecole Polytechnique mass shooting, one of a handful of tributes planned throughout the day.

On Dec. 6, 1989, a man motivated by a hatred of feminists shot and killed 14 female students and injured 13 other people at the Montreal engineering school.

Under a biting December wind, white rose wreaths were laid at a commemorative plaque near the student entrance of the building as a few dozen students and staff gathered. All wore white ribbons to raise awareness about violence against women and girls.

The women killed in the anti-feminist attack were Genevieve Bergeron, Helene Colgan, Nathalie Croteau, Barbara Daigneault, Anne-Marie Edward, Maud Haviernick, Barbara Klucznik-Widajewicz, Maryse Laganiere, Maryse Leclair, Anne-Marie Lemay, Sonia Pelletier, Michele Richard, Annie St-Arneault and Annie Turcotte.

At the end of the day – at 5:10 p.m., the time the first shots were fired – 14 beams will illuminate the sky above Mount Royal in memory of the women who lost their lives. The display will be livestreamed on Polytechnique’s social media accounts.

Flags outside of the school’s main building are at half-mast and will remain like that throughout the day. White ribbons will also be distributed at the main entrances of Polytechnique Montréal buildings.

WATCH: Remembering Polytechnique, helping those in situations of violence

This week marks the ninth edition of the Week of the White Rose, the campaign launched by the school invites the community to make a symbolic and inclusive gesture by offering virtual white roses as a means of encouraging young women to go into engineering.

Each rose purchased on the website is a donation supporting Polytechnique Montréal’s Folie Technique, an organization that runs science workshops and a science-based summer camp for girls every year.

The Polytechnique student association is presenting a photo exhibition in tribute to the 14 women who lost their lives on Dec. 6, 1989. This exhibition was motivated by the desire to make these 14 exceptional people known. Photos will be presented in the tunnel linking the main and Lassonde buildings from Dec. 5 to 9, 2022.

The anniversary of the mass shooting was proclaimed National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women in 1991.

With files from the Canadian Press

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