Lessons from North of the Border
By John Borst, PP Rotary Club of Dryden, ON
In Canada, December 6 is the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women. Established in 1991 by the Parliament of Canada, this day marks the anniversary of the murders in 1989 of 14 young women at l’ École Polytechnique de Montreal.
On that day twenty-five-year-old Marc Lépine, armed with a Mini-14 rifle and a hunting knife, shot 28 people, killing 14 women, before committing suicide. It is the deadliest mass shooting in Canadian history.
The 14 women killed in this brutal act were
|Geneviève Bergeron, 21;||Maryse Laganière, 25;|
|Hélène Colgan, 23;||Maryse Leclair, 23;|
|Nathalie Croteau, 23;||Anne-Marie Lemay, 22;|
|Barbara Daigneault, 22;||Sonia Pelletier, 23;|
|Anne-Marie Edward, 21;||Michèle Richard, 21;|
|Maud Haviernick, 29;||Anne St-Arneault, 23;|
|Barbara Klueznick, 31;||Annie Turcotte, 21.|
The day is an opportunity to reflect on violence against women in our society and to remember those who have died as a result of gender-based violence. It is a day on which communities and individuals can come together, speak out, and take action to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls.
In more recent times this commemoration has evolved to include the memory of the 1,200 Indigenous women were murdered or went missing between 1980 and 2012.
Violence against women and girls is the world’s largest and most persistent human rights violation. It transcends all boundaries.
It has also become part of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence which starts on November 25th, with the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. Includes November 29th which marks International Women Human Rights Defenders Day and December 6th, Canada’s National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence against Women. The 16 Days end on December 10th with International Human Rights Day.
Rotary International with its Six Areas of Service is well positioned to support these kinds of commemorations. I would, therefore, challenge Rotary America to consider as part of its peace and anti-violence initiative to consider organising an additional Thirteen Days of National Remembrance between November 25th and December 10th and excluding November 29th, one day for each of the major massacres that have occurred in schools, churches, theatres, and restaurants.
13 EVENTS TO COMMEMORATE
|Las Vegas, October 1, 2017 — 58 dead, 546 wounded||San Bernardino, December 2, 2015 — 14 dead, 22 wounded|
|Orlando, June 12, 2016 — 49 dead, 58 wounded||Edmond, Oklahoma, August 20, 1986 — 14 dead, 6 wounded|
|Virginia Tech University, April 16, 2007 — 32 dead, 17 wounded||Fort Hood, November 5, 2009 — 13 dead, 30 wounded|
|Sandy Hook Elementary School, December 14, 2012 — 26 dead, 2 wounded||Columbine High School, April 20, 1999 — 13 dead, 21 wounded|
|Killeen, Texas, October 16, 1991 — 23 dead, 27 wounded||Seattle, Washington, February 02, 1983 — 13 dead, 1 wounded|
|San Ysidro, California, July 18, 1984 — 21 dead, 19 wounded||Aurora, Colorado, July 20, 2012, — 12 dead, 70 wounded|
|University of Texas-Austin, Aug. 1, 1966 — 15 dead, 31 wounded|