Today marks 24 years since the killing of 14 engineers who were studying at Ecole Polytechnic. I have a vague memory of the aftermath from when it happened; candlelight vigils, sadness and anger. I was a few weeks shy of my 7th birthday in 1986 and I didn’t understand exactly what happened. I certainly didn’t know that I would become an engineer myself. For me, it marked a turning point, an innocents lost moment in my life. The world is full of dangerous people that willfully take lives in anger.
I am very proud to be an engineer. It is a high calling to be an engineer; it takes practice and hard work. It takes humility to understand the limitations of nature and boldness to challenge the limitations of human thinking. It’s a demanding path and requires self dedication and support from others. It’s a difficult path; humanity requires our brights to walk it in order to make the future brighter.
On December 6th, 1986 a man walked into an engineering lecture hall in Montreal. He told all the males to leave the room at gun point. He then began killing the women who had answered the call to walk that difficult path to create a brighter future. The world is a darker place because of his actions; we will never know what these women would have accomplished.
The universe is filled with a vast array of wonders. A very small sub-set of these wonders appear on Earth. The engineer takes these wonders and turns them into solutions to our human problems. There will never be a shortage of wonders or solutions to explore. We need to move forward without hate and explore the universe we call home, hand in hand. I try to draw light from the darkness that Marc Lépine created that day. I remember the lives he took away. I encourage everyone who can, to walk with me, and answer the calling of the engineer. We stand together against hate and for the betterment of the human race.