By NICKI THOMAS, SUN MEDIA
February 17, 2008
Emotions ran high last night as the families and friends of murdered and missing women were joined by almost 200 supporters for a memorial march in their honour.
Organizer Danielle Boudreau choked back tears as she thanked the crowd for coming to the third annual march, which she brought to Edmonton after her friend Rachel Quinney, 19, was found slain in a field east of the city in June 2004.
A similar march has been held in Vancouver every Valentine's Day since 1992 to draw attention to the large number of women missing from that city's Downtown Eastside.
"Though they can't walk with us, they are among us," said Morningstar Mercredi, who kicked off a series of speeches at the Sacred Heart Parish at 10821 96 St., where people gathered after the march from City Hall.
"Our sisters want to be remembered for the joy they brought us," she said. "Though we mourn, though we grieve, let's celebrate their lives, too, and remember our sisters who are still out there."
Cynthia Cardinal, whose sister Georgina Papin was one of the six women Robert Pickton was convicted of killing on his suburban Vancouver pig farm, said the march is an opportunity for families to come together and support each other. "Sometimes you feel so alone, like nobody understands," she said.
At the march, "you know you're not by yourself," said Bonnie Fowler, another of Papin's sisters.
The march - which was attended by city councillors Linda Sloan and Amerjeet Sohi - is growing in size every year, said Boudreau.
Mayor Stephen Mandel sent 51 red roses to symbolize the murdered and missing women, she added.