Nova Scotia mass shooting to be remembered through permanent memorial
Last year’s Nova Scotia mass shooting left a scar in the province. Now, the province seeks to honor the victims with a memorial. The shooting resulted in 23 deaths, including the perpetrator Gabriel Wortman. While authorities have never clearly pinpointed a motive for the mass shooting, the event proved a catalyst for gun control policy.
Families of the victims continue to grieve their loved ones. This is a time when many are yet reluctant to revisit the horrors of that day. Hence, creating a lasting memorial to the victims is a very delicate task. Among those that are getting started is Cees van den Hoek of the Nova Scotia Remembers Legacy Society. “It’s quite a process,” she remarked. This week marks the first anniversary of the tragedy. Van Den Hoek previously created a tribute video and is now looking to raise money through a run.
Dealing with grief and finding peace
In his mind, a permanent memorial would transmit a sense of remembrance and peace. He envisions it as a “nice, quiet and secluded place” in a beautifully landscaped garden. There would be corners where one can be by themselves. In order to pay tribute to the victims, the Society has already organized a quiet walk through the wooded trail at Victoria Park in Truro. Moreover, on the 18th of April, the Society will also hold a closed service for families in Truro.
The process will take time, however. One of the most important things will be the site selection. “This will probably take a few years. It’s so emotional and so many people are in so many stages of grief”, he stated. Van den Hoek said he will seek consultations from third parties who have experience in dealing with grief. For example, municipal councilor Tom Taggart from Portapique explained that local residents wouldn’t want a memorial close to the original site of the shootings and arsons. “They don’t want their little community to become a tourist destination,” he said. But this doesn’t mean the people of Portapique are rejecting the memorial altogether. Rather, they would wish a ‘respectful’ memorial in a proper site and with proper management.