The New Scots will gather on Monday and Tuesday to celebrate the second anniversary of the province’s mass shooting in moments of quiet reflection for the 22 victims and all those affected by the tragedy.
April 18 and 19 mark two years since a gunman, sometimes dressed as a policeman, killed neighbors and strangers over a span of 13 hours while driving through the province.
Premier Tim Houston said this will be the last year he won’t have an official designation these days. The province will formally establish 18 and 19 April as days of remembrance with legislation to be introduced by the end of the year.
“It is important for the government to recognize and send the message to the people that we are strong in Nova Scotia, we are together. Not just this year, but all years to come,” Houston told reporters at the Province House on Thursday.
“I think it’s just important that we never lose sight of what happened.”
Before introducing such legislation, Houston said the government will consult with victims’ families to ensure that their loved ones are properly remembered.
For Alana Hirtle of the Rotary Club of Truro, the news brings “mixed emotions”.
Hirtle chairs Club Truro’s Rotary Cares Committee and the Portapique community building project involving the new playground in the area and the future hall.
Even though he said the massacre should never be forgotten, it will never be easy for the people involved to score.
The flags on NS must be lowered for 2 days
“I think maybe it might be difficult for some to have it every year as a reminder,” Hirtle said Thursday.
“But, for others, I expect it to provide some comfort. And knowing that they will not be forgotten, that they will never be forgotten, is important.”
The flags of the Province House and all provincial government buildings and institutions will be lowered at half mast from sunrise on Monday until sunset on Tuesday.
New Scots are encouraged to lower their flags and stop at noon on both days to observe a moment of silence.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau released a statement on Monday to mark the anniversary.
“I join the people of Nova Scotia and all Canadians in remembering those who have lost their lives. Our thoughts are with all who continue to live with the pain, trauma and heartbreaking loss of these events,” he said.
“On behalf of the Government of Canada, I urge all Canadians to remember each of those who lost their lives and be with all those affected by this attack. To all New Scots, you are in our thoughts and have our unwavering support. . We draw inspiration from your strength and resilience. “