Residents of Lac-Megantic honor their dead and thank those who were there for them

Like Méganticois, the Sainte-Agnes church still stands, even though it is only a short distance from the railway and the old town center, which was destroyed by the explosion of an oil tanker on July 6, 2013. So it is only natural that the residents of Lac-Mégantic gathered there, Thursday morning, for a solemn memorial service to remember the 47 lives taken 10 years ago.

The mass prayer service ended when the bells were rung 47 times, i.e. in one stroke for each person who lost his life on the other side of the tracks that day.

The Prime Minister of Quebec, François Legault, his Deputy Prime Minister, Geneviève Guilbault, and the Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau, went to lay flowers chosen by citizens at a memorial monument in the shape of a book, on which these words are engraved. Names of the victims of the tragedy. They listened silently to the ringing of the bells in the hot sun.

Many have overcome their own suffering to turn to others. And, we don’t want to forget anything more than the faces of the 47 people who disappeared.

In a packed house of worship, the faces of all those who died on July 6 flashed on a screen as chants were played consent to absence, The youth of many of these victims still strikes today.

In 2013 the priest of Lac-Megantic, Steve Lemay, gave a touching sermon paying tribute to the community.

“Many have overcome their own suffering to turn to others. And, we don’t want to forget anything more than the faces of the 47 people who disappeared. ,

He emphasized that although a decade has passed since the tragic events of July 2013, “they are not a thing of the past for many”. His words seem to echo, people shed some silent tears.

“Humanity Lesson”

To mark the decade gone by, each participant was given a thin white candle, which each other lit.

The man who kept the Lac-Mégantic community at a distance from each other, then-mayor, Colette Roy-Laroche, and current mayor, Julie Morin, brought the necessities of the Eucharist to the altar — and came down to thunderous applause. Two young girls laid flowers there on behalf of children who lost their parents on 6 July 2013.

Minister Geneviève Guilbault was sent to Lac-Mégantic as spokesperson for the coroner’s office when the tragedy struck. That summer, Meganticois received bad news from his mouth. Outside the church on Thursday morning, he said he remembered the pain of people searching for loved ones after the blast. He claims that he got “a great lesson in humanity and resilience” from her.

Before entering the church, Premier François Legault thanked the many people who helped the community, including first responders and citizens who aided – and who surely still have horrifying images in their minds. He said – and who took care of the mental health of the residents. He also congratulated M.Me Roy-Laroche, “who was very strong”, and the prime minister at the time, PQ Pauline Marois, “who took it forward”.

We will never forget. It marked you for life, but life goes on. He should continue.

He also wanted to send a message of hope: “We will never forget. It marked you for life, but life goes on. He should continue. Life is short, so try to find the good times. I say to all the people of Lac-Mégantic: Courage. ,

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau declared, “Today, I am here to bear witness and show solidarity,” noting the pain that people still live in every day.

This is the case of Yvonne Roy, father of Kevin Roy, whose life ended when he was only 29 years old. The young father had three children. He watched the ceremony on television from his home. He did not have the strength to go there: “I could not go. My son died in the accident,” he said.

“This should not happen again”

After the politicians left, the citizens stopped by the church, taking some time to talk to each other.

“What touches us is that people are still with us after 10 years. It is good to feel that we have not been forgotten,” said Christine Poisson, a resident who lost a student in the tragedy.

The sermon was “extraordinary”. But immediately, the woman adds: “But this should not happen again. It could have been avoided. We have to find ways to do it. ,

“We don’t have words to say how touched, united we are,” said Odette Sarazin near the monument, her voice brimming with emotion. “It is a duty to be here. The woman is a member of the Regroup Vigilance Hydrocarbons Quebec. He had members of a coalition of citizens and organizations committed to rail safety in Lac-Mégantic, including Claude Roy, who can no longer see the train tracks in the center of town, right in front of the church. She insists: they must be removed. “We never thought it would take 10 years. ,

A special concert will take place on Friday evening in the new Musée-Café building. Completely destroyed on 6 July, the bar-show has become one of the tragic symbols of the tragedy, as it was here that most of the victims died. Rebuilt on another site nearby, it is now part of the redesign of Lac-Mégantic.

with alex fontaine

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