On This Day, We Remember
Despite the freezing temperature, about 20 military and civilian personnel turned out at the snow-covered grounds of the Diversity Garden on December 6 to mark the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women.
After some opening remarks, Colonel Aaron Spott, 17 Wing Commander, tied two ribbons around a tree trunk.
“We tied a white ribbon in recognition of men not accepting or condoning violence against women, and a purple ribbon to always recognize the women that were killed in Montreal,” Col Spott said.
The National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women was established by the Parliament of Canada in 1991 to mark the anniversary of the 1989 murders of 14 women at l’École Polytechnique de Montréal, who were killed because of their gender, notes the DND website.
On December 6, we remember:
• Geneviève Bergeron
• Hélène Colgan
• Nathalie Croteau
• Barbara Daigneault
• Anne-Marie Edward
• Maud Haviernick
• Maryse Laganière
• Maryse Leclair
• Anne-Marie Lemay
• Sonia Pelletier
• Michèle Richard
• Annie St-Arneault
• Annie Turcotte
• Barbara Klucznik-Widajewicz
“As we mourn their loss and remember their lives, we reaffirm our commitment to fight the hatred that led to this tragedy, and the misogyny that still exists today,” the website says.
“In Canada and around the world, women, girls, and gender diverse individuals face unacceptable violence and discrimination.
“The National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women is also a time to take action to create safe homes, communities, and workplaces for everyone.
“Achieving a Canada free from gender-based violence requires everyone living in this country to educate themselves, their families and communities on gender-based violence, ensuring the voices and views of those with lived experience guide our actions and speak up against harmful behaviours.”
Major Lisa Nguyen, 17 MSS OC Administration Flight and the Military Chair of the Defence Women’s Advisory Organization in Winnipeg, was grateful that everyone at all levels and ranks are listening to the concerns women in the CAF have been raising.
“It shows their sincere commitment to move towards culture change,” she said.
“It’s been great so far. I hope it continues to move in that positive direction.”
Michelle Divorne, who works at the Language Training Centre and is also the civilian co-chair of the DWAO, added that she was pleased to see the number of people participating in the ceremony at the Diversity Garden to mark the 30 year anniversary.
“When we look back through time, we note that violence is still very relevant in today’s society,” she said. “It is still not an acceptable practice regardless of the duration of time.”