A student posts a message on the "Strength Wall" at the UCalgary Strong Festival at the University of Calgary in Calgary

‘A really hard day’: Calgary mayor reflects on anniversary of mass murder

Bouquets of flowers, dozens of candles and an unsigned note pinned to a tree were reminders left Wednesday outside a home where five young people were stabbed to death a year ago.

CALGARY — Bouquets of flowers, dozens of candles and an unsigned note pinned to a tree were reminders left Wednesday outside a home where five young people were stabbed to death a year ago.

“I did not know any of you when you were alive, but I am very grateful to be able to learn more about all of you now in the wake of this tragedy,” read the note underneath photos of the victims.

“You all lived good, happy, respectful lives. From the outpouring of emotion, and from all the words I have read, your friends and family were very proud of you. I feel very proud to have had such amazing young people amongst us.

“None of you deserved this. None of you will be forgotten. Go in peace.”

Last April, the four-bedroom home with stucco and blue siding was surrounded by yellow police tape. On Wednesday, two trucks sat in the driveway and the tree-lined street was silent.

Lawrence Hong, 27; Josh Hunter, 23; Kaitlin Perras, 23; Zackariah Rathwell, 21; and Jordan Segura, 22, were at a house party to mark the end of the school year when they were attacked by an individual who was an invited guest.

Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi attended a private memorial service, which included friends and families of the victims.

“It’s a hard day. It’s a really hard day,” he said.

“I asked them all how have things been going and how are you doing? As one can expect it varies. There are good days and bad days and it was a tough day for many of them,” he said.

“Universally they are happy to remember the support they received from the other young people, from the friends of those we lost and from the community as a whole.”

The University of Calgary marked the anniversary by announcing a new festival to be called UCalgaryStrong and which is to focus on fostering student well-being and resiliency.

“This is a day … that you don’t want to have to relive,” said university president Elizabeth Cannon.

“It was tragic for us on campus, but also for all of Calgary, and certainly nationwide. The last year has been a roller-coaster. We had a lot of ups and downs.”

Students’ union president Jarett Henry said no one was immune to what happened.

“It’s been tough. I remember waking up last year with phone calls and texts from my mum and friends asking what happened, where are you and are you OK?” he recalled.

“I think every single student on campus had that experience and we’ve been living with it ever since.”

Matthew de Grood, the son of a veteran Calgary police officer, faces five counts of first-degree murder.

A date for his trial is to be set next month.

Just Posted

Nature trail unveiled at RDC

Trail unveiling and tree planting honours Nova Chemicals $2 million donation

Rural municipalities seek more funding to address cannabis legalization

Not enough supports in Municipal Cannabis Transition Program

Culprits smash truck into store in failed attempt to steal ATM

Suspects reversed truck through doors of Eastview IGA early Sunday morning

UPDATED: Flu immunization now available in Red Deer

Free vaccine to Albertans six months and older

Update: Windows smashed at three Red Deer businesses

Red Deer RCMP arrest man after vandalism spree

WATCH: Blackfalds Fire teaches families about fire safety

An open house was held Saturday in support of Fire Prevention Week

Canada gets into Women’s World Cup with 7-0 win over Panama

FRISCO, Texas — Christine Sinclair isn’t concerned about chasing records. She’s set… Continue reading

Baldwin urges ‘overthrow’ of Trump government via voting

MANCHESTER, N.H. — Actor Alec Baldwin followed up his latest parody portrayal… Continue reading

Prince Harry and Meghan expecting their 1st child in spring

CANBERRA, Australia — Prince Harry and his wife, the Duchess of Sussex,… Continue reading

Sears files for Chapter 11 amid plunging sales, massive debt

NEW YORK — Sears filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Monday, buckling… Continue reading

Doctors to debate medical pot as more patients expected to ask for prescriptions

VANCOUVER — Doctors with opposing views on whether medical marijuana should be… Continue reading

Halifax smoking ban begins today; city announces several new smoking areas

Halifax’s sweeping smoking ban begins today, two days before recreational cannabis is… Continue reading

Canadians widely unaware of accomplishments of famous women, poll suggests

TORONTO — The organization behind Canada’s Heritage Minutes says provincial education systems… Continue reading

Five things about what’s legal and what’s not in Canada’s new pot law

OTTAWA — Canada’s new law legalizing recreational cannabis goes into force on… Continue reading

Most Read