On Twitter “#RememberJan29” was trending throughout the day on Wednesday.
In our hyper-speed digital world, in which major events are increasingly ephemeral moments stored for a short time in the finite room our heads have for the endless information raining down on us daily from all parts of the globe, it’s likely many Canadians have already largely forgotten what horrific event from three short years ago that we need to remember.
On Jan. 29, 2017, a young man with a heart full of hate shot six Muslim worshippers dead and injured 19 others in a mosque in Quebec City.
We remember the six fellow Canadians who were fathers, sons and husbands: Azzedine Soufiane, Khaled Melkacemi, Boubaker Thabti, Abdelkrim Hassane, Mamdou Tanou Barry, and Ibrahim Barry.
Canada is supposed to be a place where all faiths and peoples can coexist peacefully together, but on that night of horror we were tragically reminded even our country still has a lot to do to fight against racism and hatred.
January 29 is also a day Canadians are encouraged to open up about their mental health and reach out to those needing help.
The killer from the mosque shooting was an alienated man who had let hatred take over his heart and mind. By all accounts it appears he suffered from severe mental illness.
Canadians should try to reach out to those they see struggling. And for those beyond help, Canadians should seriously consider reporting on them if they show signs they may hurt others or themselves.
Canada is usually a pretty wonderful place for people of all faiths and creeds to live and thrive.
But Canadians must remain vigilant in calling out racism and hatred whenever and wherever they rear their ugly heads.
Part of that duty Canadians have in making Canada an inclusive, shining beacon of hope to the rest of the world is to never forget the massacre that happened on January 29, 2017.