Events underway to honour victims of Montreal's École Polytechnique shooting

Events underway to honour victims of Montreal's École Polytechnique shooting
Events underway to honour victims of Montreal's École Polytechnique shooting 6 December 2022 10:48 AM: Tributes are underway in Montreal today to commemorate victims of the École Polytechnique shooting on the 33rd anniversary of the tragedy.

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.

Students and staff of École Polytechnique are expected to pay their respects this morning by placing rose wreaths on the commemorative plaque located near the student entrance.

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.

Flags outside of the school's main building are at half-mast and will remain like that throughout the day.

Maud Cohen, the president of École Polytechnique, graduated a few years after the massacre. She said young students usually walk into university dreaming about their future and hoping to change the world.

"But at the same time we came through the doors of Polytechnique, which is a university where a tragedy happened a couple of years before and and we saw, we met students, our fellow students that went through these events," she said. "So it was a mix of emotion."

Cohen said it was important to remember these young women that were "full of hope, full of talent, full of potential for society." As the first female president of the university, she said she's also looking to the future, and the next generation.

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Sophia Roy hopes this scholarship will give her more time to continue mentoring young women and participating in voluntary work.

Justine Petrucci, a civil engineering PhD student at the school, said it's important to remember, for the sake of future generations.

"I want to extend a hand to [future students] to let them know that they can take the place that they deserve at Polytechnique and in the world," she said.

Petrucci, through the school's GeniElles program, is hoping to be an ambassador for women in engineering. 

"The more women you see an engineering or science, the more young girls get will get inspired ... I want to pick their curiosity and their interest," she said.

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

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