Lac-Megantic marks 9th anniversary of train disaster
The community of Lac-Mégantic is marking the ninth anniversary of the train disaster that killed 47 people and scarring its downtown on July 6, 2013.
In a note to its citizens, the Town of Lac-Mégantic says it will organize moments to remember the difficult moments caused by the disaster and also to highlight all the progress made since.
Starting at 8 a.m., as in previous years, the town's flags have been flown at half-mast. The municipality's elected officials laid a wreath of flowers at the memorial, in the presence of residents.
A minute of silence was to be held in memory of the 47 victims and the bereaved families.
A religious ceremony will take place at 11 a.m. at the Sainte-Agnès church, presided by Fr. Francis Morency. Afterwards, flowers will be laid near the granite book in front of the church, where the names of the 47 victims are inscribed.
At noon, the bells of Sainte-Agnès church will ring 47 times in tribute to the victims. During this moment of recollection, traffic will be stopped in the vicinity to create calm and serenity.
The Town of Lac-Mégantic has obtained confirmation from Canadian Pacific that no trains will be running on the tracks on July 6.
The mayor of Lac-Mégantic, Julie Morin, says that the town's residents are forever marked by the events of July 6, 2013, which affected all parts of the community. She believes that the day of commemoration allows them to pause and remember the missing, the lost landmarks, and also the steps taken to recover from the disaster.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau issued a statement on Wednesday in which he joined the people of Lac-Mégantic and all Canadians in paying tribute to the victims of the disaster. He noted that it was the deadliest train accident in modern Canadian history.
Quebec Premier François Legault posted a message on Twitter.
"9 years ago, Quebec experienced a tragedy. We must remember, today, the 47 victims who perished in Lac-Mégantic on July 6, 2013. I offer my most sincere condolences to the loved ones of the deceased. My thoughts are with all the people of Megantic," wrote Legault.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on July 6, 2022.