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.