December Requiem

The “Montreal Massacre” happened twenty-three years ago to-day. I remember too clearly the shock and horror of this terrible news report.

There have been other horrific mass shootings of random victims since then, but this was the first I knew about, and it hit too close to home.

I felt I knew these bright and beautiful young women who had done nothing worse than show up for their lecture!

Teachers were encouraging young women, especially gifted girls, to choose careers in science, medicine, engineering, technology. Now it is taken for granted that women have equal access to such studies and careers. Twenty two years ago it was still a somewhat unusual choice. These women paid a terrible price!

December 6 was also the birthday of the amazing young woman who would become my daughter in law. She was in class at McMaster University when we first heard the report.

This print  report gives more details, but the television news video captures the emotional impact as we felt as we watched it that night!

So instead of a blog about Christmas, I invite you to listen with me to Pie Jesu, as performed by Sarah Brightman and Paul Miles-Kingston at the 1985 premier of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Requiem mass   If you don’t know the Latin liturgy this performance includes a translation.

Here is another version, with Sarah Brightman in duet with the amazing Metropolitan Opera soprano, Anna Netrebko.

Both versions move me to tears in their beautiful solemnity as I imagine the terror in that lecture hall and the sorrow of everyone who knew and loved the victims.


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3 Responses to December Requiem

  1. Today marks the 95th anniversary of the Halifax Explosion. On this day in 1917, the Norwegian supply ship Imo collided with the French munitions ship Mont-Blanc, causing the largest man-made explosion the world had ever seen and killing almost 2,000 people – as well as destroying half the city, including hospitals & other institutions that would be needed for post-tragedy relief work.

    I know this doesn’t have the political hook that Marc Lepine’s horrific crime has, but I see people promoting the memory of the Titanic every year and no one recalls the Halifax Explosion which was WORSE, MANY TIMES OVER than the Titanic.

    • motleydragon says:

      Thank you for reminding me of the coincidence. I had no idea. I agree with you completely that it is troubling that we ignore this huge event in Canadian history!
      I remember reading Hugh MacLennan’s great novel about it years ago… Barometer Rising. Have you read it? I wonder whether it is still available. Perhaps we could write more about the explosion and post it on both our blogs tomorrow or over the weekend!

  2. I like this idea, Ellen but I can’t promise anything. I’ll try to work on a post for this weekend (maybe even later today?) and I’ll link to one that you do, if you like.

    I did review Blizzard of Glass earlier this year.

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