|The rose is plain to see. The patch of moose hide is dangling from my lapel.|
Sue too — at least the rose part.
This is what the moose hide represents.
The day had begun early with a snowy trip to the hospital of a nearby town. This is a photo taken from the hospital once we were settled in. The highway conditions hadn't been as bad as on this side street, but they weren't stellar either.
While the person we drove awaited their procedure upstairs, we settled into the waiting area by the lobby. Soon, perplexing things began to occur. Tables were moved; purple cloth was laid on what was obviously becoming a display.
When we wondered what was transpiring, it was explained to us that there was to be a ceremony for the National Day of Remebrance and Action on Violence Against Women, for it marked the 30th anniversary of the shooting of 14 women at l'École Polytechnique de Montréal, where women were murdered just for being women.
On December 6, 1989, Marc Lépine entered a mechanical engineering class at the École Polytechnique and ordered the women and men to opposite sides of the classroom. He separated nine women, instructing the men to leave. He stated that he was "fighting feminism" and opened fire. He shot at all nine women in the room, killing six.
The gunman then moved through corridors, the cafeteria, and another classroom, targeting women for just under 20 minutes before turning the gun on himself. It is the deadliest mass shooting in Canadian history. WikipediaDuring the ceremony, a photo of each victim was held and a brief biography was read.
After each reading, someone in attendance would come to the front and place a red rose in the vase. I have no photos of this, but this is why both Sue and I had been holding roses, for we were asked if we might like to participate since we were stationed there for the morning. Of course, we were honoured to do so.
That was also when I was asked if I would like to wear the moose hide to show that I was standing against violence toward women and children. Yes, I would.
After the ceremony, lhe ladies left the flowers (in a less central spot) but moved on to take part in two other ceremonies.
It was a poignant occasion that I am glad were were able to witness and join.