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Memorial Service – December 6

Anne T. Gillis, CND

It is difficult to find words to adequately describe the moving candle-lighting ceremony held at the Confederation Center organized by the PEI Advisory Council on the Status of Women. The ceremony opened with an Aboriginal prayer and the Honour Song. Various officials lit the individual candles in memory of the women murdered in the Montreal Massacre, as well as ten candles honouring the women who have been murdered on PEI by their partners or significant others since 1989. All was silent except for the reading of names and some reflective music playing in the background. The theme of the day was really about honouring survivors, in keeping with that, a young Syrian Refugee woman, Dima Mreesh, was the guest speaker, telling her story of survival. The ceremony ended with a powerful song of survival composed and sung by a young woman who is a survivor. Everyone was then invited to depart in silence. I have attended these memorials for a number of years and never cease to be moved by the reverence and respect surrounding the event and the emotional toll experienced by many participants. I was happy that Sister Marie Hagen could accompany me. 


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