Officials in Quebec’s capital held ceremonies and urged residents to come together on Sunday to honour the victims and survivors of a deadly sword attack that unfolded one year ago.
The Halloween night attack that shook the province played out in Quebec City’s historic streets when a man dressed in a medieval costume and wielding a Japanese-style sword allegedly went on a rampage.
“After the shock, pain, sadness and anger of the past year, we will come together to make more sense of our lives and our city,” Quebec’s outgoing mayor Régis Labeaume said in a statement. “We will remember this sad moment, and above all, we will honor the memory of our fellow citizens.”
Hairdresser Suzanne Clermont, 61, and 56-year-old museum employee Francois Duchesne died in the night attack that also left five others injured.
A ceremony took place Sunday afternoon at three different locations in a bustling sector of Old Quebec where the rampage unfolded.
Labeaume spoke at one of those ceremonies, addressing mourners in front of city hall. He also led a minute of silence honouring Clermont and Duchesne, saying he hoped to bring some sense to people whose lives were affected by the tragedy.
Duchesne’s former employer, the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, also issued a tribute via social media on Sunday.
The museum said it has developed a series of activities to connect art and well-being as part of their “The art of being human” program, noting the move was made partially in tribute to the former employee.
“The whole program invites participants to reconnect with their emotions, in all kindness,” the statement reads.
A temporary commemorative plaque will be set up in front of city hall in memory of Clermont and Duchesne. The city said it will install a permanent one next year in the centre of Old Quebec.
Premier François Legault issued a tweet saying Quebec went through a tragedy on that day and sending love and thoughts to all of those affected.
“A man savagely attacked passersby trying to enjoy their evening in Old Quebec,” Legault wrote. “Today, the two victims are remembered.”
Carl Girouard of Ste-Therese, Que., was charged with two counts of first-degree murder and five counts of attempted murder after the attack. He is currently awaiting trial.
Virginie Ann, The Canadian Press