Dawson College remembers 5th anniversary of deadly day
Published Tuesday, September 13, 2011 2:51PM EDT
MONTREAL - Dawson College students and teachers gathered Tuesday to commemorate the fifth anniversary of a deadly attack at the school.
On September 13, 2006, Kimveer Gill drove up to the Montreal school and opened fire, injuring 16 people and killing Anastasia De Sousa, 18, before killing himself.
The school has quietly marked the event every year, and in 2011, on this fifth anniversary of the attack, the school officially inaugurated the Peace Garden that was begun the year after the shooting with the planting of an almond tree.
Every year since people have left flowers at the foot of the tree that was planted to remember De Sousa.
This year the attack was marked with a number of events, including a choir performance by students.
Many current and past students at Dawson College worked on the garden.
"It means a lot of different things to a lot of different people," said Nicolas Lemieux. "To the students it's an example of overcoming adversity, overcoming violence."
Parents marked by Anastasia's death
Nelson and Louise De Sousa, Anastasia, have worked hard to honour the memory of their daughter.
They have created the Pink Angel foundation so her name can live on, and they are raising money for a cause that was dear to her heart.
"We raised funds that were directed to the Children's Hospital," said Nelson. "She was there often in her childhood."
Now they are trying to gather $100,000 to sponsor a room at the new hospital being built at the Glen Yards.
The De Sousas are also fighting to strengthen Canada's gun control laws, and feel disappointed with the Conservative government's plan to dismantle the long gun registry.
"Considering also that gun owners are a minority in Canada and our prime minister is railroading this through it seems very unbalanced as an idea," said Nelson.
"I'm pretty sure that the majority of Canadians are on our side, where sensible, civic safety is a priority over a sport."
Louise said that while Quebecers are fervent supporters of gun control, the same cannot be said about Canadians coast to coast.
"Quebecers believe in it, have a real strong point of view," said Louise. But in the west "I guess it has not hit close to home."