December 6th is the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. Established in 1991 by the Canadian Parliament, the day marks the anniversary of the fourteen Women who lost their lives by an act of gender violence at l’École Polytechnique de Montréal on December 6th, 1989. Every year Canadians are asked to take a moment to remember the reality of gender violence in our nation’s history as well as the violence that has taken place over the past year. On this day we take time to reflect on what has happened in the past, and what we can do to change the future.
The call to remember such events is a call to action. By remembering we do not let these events go unobserved. Through this service we tell ourselves, and our communities, we are watching. By remembering these events we send a message. We remind those who are victims that we stand in solidarity with them, and to those who have committed acts of violence, that these acts are unacceptable. We remind ourselves that this is not a single event that took place in history, nor something that happens far away from our homes. We remember that this is an everyday lived reality for many women in our own communities.