Vigil marks remembrance
Day of Remembrance held across the country every December 6
No candle stood a chance against the whipping wind on Blockhouse Island, but nonetheless the community gathered at the Women’s Memorial to commemorate lives that have been lost as a result of violence against women.
The Day of Remembrance – marked annually on Dec. 6 across Canada – remembers the 14 women who were murdered by a lone gunman walking at l’Ecole Polytechnique in 1989, while local victims of violence were also remembered by name.
“Interval House here in Brockville assists over 850 women and children each and every year through our shelter, our outreach services, and our childrens’ services,” Charlene Catchpole, executive director at Leeds and Grenville Interval House, said Wednesday evening.
She said it’s important to keep the issue in the public dialogue because violence against women remains an issue – locally and nationally.
“One woman is killed every six days in Canada by a man, or men, who claim to love them; by men who think they are justified in their actions, who feel they are entitled to be in control and these acts of violence bring them power.”
Dec. 6 marks a day recognized annually in Canada as the National Day of Action and Remembrance on Violence against Women, and the Victim Issues Coordinating Committee of Leeds and Grenville (VICCLG) held its annual vigil at the women’s monument on Blockhouse Island Wednesday to honour the anniversary.
The gunman on that tragic day in Montreal attributed the reason for his crimes to anger against women who pursued education in a career traditionally held by men, and since then the country has mourned the lives lost and has sought to keep the conversation about violence against women going.
She noted that there are now over 4,000 reported cases of missing or murdered Aboriginal women across the country, and she called on the federal government to do more about the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.
“How and why can this still be happening?” she asked, but said local participation in events like this renews her energy. “My passion is refueled, but our work is nowhere near done. But if we stand together and we show women and girls that they are not alone; that they are believed – we will remain vigilant in this fight to end violence.”
Brockville's police chief Scott Fraser lays a rose at the Women's Monument on Blockhouse Island in Brockville for The Day of Remembrance, honouring the 14 women who were murdered by a lone gunman in Montreal at lÕEcole Polytechnique in 1989.