Memory plays tricks. This famous faculty that forgets also has the ability to bring back to memory very fresh memories of the past, as if it were yesterday … This was the case for several Méganticois, in this July 6, about the serious tragedy Which exactly shook the small community of 6,000 inhabitants of the Eastern Townships, mowing 47 lives and destroying most of the historic downtown area.
While the 47 strokes of the bells were being used to pay tribute to the 47 victims of the tragedy, some Méganticois present after the 11 am commemorative mass were wiped off a few tears that they could not contain. A very solemn moment, conducive to recollection, when only the flying insects emitted some noise. A moment of eternity, where the bells of the church with different stamps were ringing, like the 47 victims who were very different in their ages, personalities, characters and lives.
Bibiane Lafontaine, of Piopolis, came out very well tragedy, because she claimed too many victims, including Karine Lafontaine, daughter-in-law of her cousin Raymond, who also lost her son Gaétan and his wife Joanie , And two of its employees. “We took that hard … In addition, Karine was a good friend of my daughter Sylvie. They were still together. Even today, it’s always painful. And the worst, the only thing left in the city center is the train desperation. Because it has caused the despair of families, especially in the middle of the night. We can not wait to go elsewhere! ”
A newcomer to Lac-Mégantic for seven months, Jean-Gabriel Diatta, a Senegalese of origin, who found a job as a weekend team leader at Masonite, is waiting for his wife, who has stayed in Senegal, And his seven-month-old daughter, whom he has not yet seen, come to join him in Lac-Mégantic next month. The tragedy of Lac-Mégantic reminds him of another tragedy in his country, occurred on September 26, 2002, an accident of the boat Joola which left 2000 dead.
“I’ve lost relatives, friends and people from the university … I can understand what the locals are going through …”
During the commemorative Mass, Curé Gilles Baril spoke of compassion and solidarity, which he could easily perceive himself, arrived a few years after the tragedy, replacing the parish priest Steve Lemay. After his sermon, intentions were read, composed according to this special Mass, for the 47 people who have already experienced the great encounter with their creator, the beautiful dreams that these people carried for them to be realized, for the families And the friends of the victims and for the community still upset.
After the Mass, the Baril priest agreed to testify about his experience after another tragedy that he has lived in the past.
“I was in pastoral work, when I worked as vicar in Asbestos. There was the tragedy of Eastman, where a bus dived into the silver lake and 41 people died. Every year, on the night of August 4-5, I saw the events. Here, it is normal that one can not forget, and every year, people can only remember. Because here, in addition, the city center was destroyed. Reconstruction can never replace the heritage buildings that existed before. ”
After a moment’s silence, the cure continued. “I would like to say that we must push to get the bypass train. Because I understand the citizens who ask for it … Every night, the train disturbs me, sometimes three times in the same night! “, He admitted, in the tone of confidence.