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The bells rang, silences fell, then a few hundred people gathered Wednesday evening to commemorate the tragedy that occurred on ' last year.

It’s 3:05 p.m. on March 13 in Amqui | Drama in Amqui

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Citizens gathered on Saint-Benoît Boulevard in Amqui to honor the memory of the victims of the ram truck attack that occurred on March 13, 2023.

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A bright, spring sun shone on Wednesday, like this afternoon of March 13, 2023, in downtown Amqui. Since early morning, the church bells have rung every hour, in memory of the three lives lost in a ram truck attack, and for the survivors.

On Boulevard Saint-Benoît, the scene of the tragedy which occurred a year ago to the day, people left businesses. People, including the brother of one of the victims, Gérald Charest, stopped on the sidewalk.

C&amp ;#x27;is really important, because it was hard. My brother died instantly. […] But the first turn of the wheel is done. After that, it should get a little better, slowly. We can't change history, but justice must be done, and we will try to continue quietly, supporting each other. The world of Amqui is a world that supports itself, affirms Sylvain Charest.

I don't like it, I&# x27;I don't like being here, but you have to go around. And we remember good memories. My brother Gérald was a funny guy. We were close.

A quote from Sylvain Charest

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The wound is still raw in the community.

Drama in Amqui

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Drama in Amqui

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At 3:05 p.m., the precise moment when the lives of many families were turned upside down in Amqui, citizens gathered on the boulevard gathered in silence.

For three minutes, a living painting, both poignant and solemn: everyone looked in the same direction, towards the east. That's where the van emerged a year ago, before charging into the crowd.

At the same time, other relatives of the victims gathered in front of the church. They held hands, in a circle, time to observe a minute of silence.

Relatives of victims of the attack of March 13, 2023 gathered in the square in front of the Amqui church, at 3:05 p.m.

The community is gradually recovering from the shock, but it has not forgotten anything. Some have even changed their habits when walking around town.

We make our trip and we always come back to the area… but we definitely think about it. People even drive in reverse to see the cars coming, says a passerby.

Mayor Sylvie Blanchette recalls that the objective of Wednesday evening's ceremony is not to feel sorry for the fate of the city, but to honor the memory of the people who left them on March 13, 2023, and to show solidarity with the survivors.

The mayor of Amqui, Sylvie Blanchette, indicates that this day of commemoration brings up many emotions. An intimate gathering with victims of the attack was also held on Wednesday afternoon. There is the spouse of a deceased person who had not returned to walk there again, so this afternoon, all together, we were there, relates the elected official.

This afternoon, we lived again great emotions, […] and we experience them at the minute.

A quote from Sylvie Blanchette, mayor of Amqui

We are all together, united, and life keep on going. And you have to see the beautiful moments that you can experience too. This is what we want to remember, underlines Ms. Blanchette, who also allowed herself a humorous speech during the gathering on Wednesday evening, at Pierre-et-Maurice-Gagné Park.

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The sidewalk along Saint-Benoît Boulevard was invaded by citizens on this Wednesday evening, just like what the mayor wanted, just a few days after the attack last year. For her, it was important to show citizens that this attack was an isolated event and that Amqui continued to be a safe city, where life was good.

At the start of the evening, nearly 200 people gathered at Pierre-et-Maurice-Gagné Park, in Amqui.

Photo album: Memorial evening at Amqui

It's never forgotten. We could have been among the victims because we had just left the sidewalk, says a resident we met in Amqui.

I found it beautiful that the world stood still, because… it's terrible, commented another.

In this sense, the key word of the commemorations organized on Wednesday, according to churchwarden Daniel Thériault, is solidarity.

We saw that people, it touched them, just like me, it touched us personally. It was unrealistic, but also unifying, he says.

People gathered together, stood up, held demonstrations […] It was really extraordinary to see all this solidarity.

A quote from Daniel Thériault, churchwarden and resident of Amqui

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Daniel Thériault , churchwarden, in the company of the parish priest, Kindé Cosme Arouko

For his part, the priest Kindé Cosme Arouko indicated that the church of Amqui had opened its doors for any person, regardless of faith, who wished to meditate or simply break the faith. isolation.

People need to talk with other people. They left the house to find a neutral place to meditate.

A quote from Kindé Cosme Arouko, priest of Amqui

The church is everyone's home, and we are going to gather together, pray together, collect ourselves, tell people that they are not alone and that 'there are people who accompany them, who listen to them, underlined the priest, a few hours before a mass held in memory of the victims.

With information from Pierre Chapdelaine de Montvalon, Adrianne Gauvin-Sasseville, Roxanne Langlois and Jean-François Deschênes

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Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116