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Polytechnique victims honoured with multiple ceremonies on 29th anniversary
Published Thursday, December 6, 2018 7:42AM EST Last Updated Thursday, December 6, 2018 8:44PM EST
Fourteen beams of light shone into the night sky from Montreal's Mount Royal Thursday evening in memory of the 14 women who died at the Ecole Polytechnique engineering school 29 years ago.
A crowd, which included Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, stood in silence atop the lookout as they attended a ceremony commemorating the victims killed on Dec. 6, 1989.
As each woman's name was announced, a new beam illuminated the night sky, the 14 forming a semi-circle around the dignitaries, victims' family members and members of the public.
Later Trudeau and his wife, Sophie Gregoire Trudeau, laid a wreath of white roses at the foot of a photo memorial of the women, accompanied by Quebec Premier Francois Legault, his wife Isabelle Brais, and Montreal Mayor Valerie Plante.
Catherine Bergeron, whose sister Genevieve died in the shooting, said the light beams are an appropriate way to remember the 14 bright women.
"They were little suns, bright girls with light in their eyes who were full of life, who wanted to do all kind of things," she said, adding that they "never questioned" the brightness of their futures back in 1989.
For the first time the city of Laval is marking the deaths at the Polytechnique. A ceremony took place at 5 p.m. at Place Claude Leveillée with the choir from the University of Montreal, where Mayor Marc Demers unveiled art called Lux Aeterna.
Another vigil took place at 4 p.m. at Jean-Talon metro station to remember all female victims of violence.
On Dec. 6, 1989, a gunman walked into Ecole Polytechnique and killed 14 women.
The victims were:
Anne-Marie Lemay: Was in fourth-year mechanical engineering.
Anne-Marie Edward: Loved outdoor sports like skiing, diving and riding and was always surrounded by friends. Was studying chemical engineering.
Annie St-Arneault: A mechanical engineering student from La Tuque, Que., a Laurentian pulp and paper town in the upper St-Maurice River valley. Lived in a small apartment in Montreal. Her friends considered her a fine student. Was killed as she sat listening to a presentation in her last class before graduation. Had a job interview with Alcan Aluminium scheduled for the following day. Had talked about eventually getting married to the man who had been her boyfriend since she was a teenager.
Annie Turcotte: Was in her first year and lived with her brother in a small apartment near the university. Was described as gentle and athletic -- was a diver and a swimmer. Went into metallurgical engineering so she could one day help improve the environment.
Barbara Daigneault: Was to graduate at the end of the year. A teaching assistant for her father Pierre Daigneault, a mechanical engineering professor with the city's other French-language engineering school at the Université du Quebec à Montreal.
Barbara Klucznik-Widajewicz: A first-year nursing student. Arrived in Montreal from Poland with her husband in 1987.
Genevieve Bergeron: Second-year scholarship student in mechanical engineering. Played the clarinet and sang in a professional choir. In her spare time played basketball and swam.
Helene Colgan: Was in her final year of mechanical engineering and planned to do master's degree. Had three job offers and was leaning toward accepting one from a Toronto-area company.
Maryse Laganiere: The only non-student killed. Worked in the budget department of the engineering school. Had recently married.
Maryse Leclair: Was in fourth-year metallurgy, had a year to go before graduation and was one of the top students in the school. Acted in plays in junior college. The first victim whose name was known and she was found by her father, Montreal police Lt. Pierre Leclair.
Maud Haviernick: A second-year student in metallurgical engineering and a graduate in environmental design from the Université du Quebec à Montreal.
Michele Richard: Was in second-year metallurgical engineering. Was presenting a paper with Haviernick when she was killed.
Nathalie Croteau: Another graduating mechanical engineer. Planned to take a two-week vacation in Cancun, Mexico, with Colgan at the end of the month.
Sonia Pelletier: The head of her class and the pride of St-Ulric, her remote birthplace in the Gaspé peninsula. Had five sisters and two brothers. Was killed the day before she was to graduate with a degree in mechanical engineering. Had a job interview lined up for the following week.
With files from CTV Montreal