More than two months have passed since the tragedy on Yonge Street in which 10 people were killed and many more injured by a lone driver of a van. I received a number of comments on the blog I posted about that dreadful day and wanted to share some of those thoughts.

April 23, 2018 was like any other day. People awoke in the morning expecting to live out the routine of their lives not knowing what lay ahead. For those who knew and loved the people who were killed or injured, for those who watched the horror, and for those who helped in any way they could, the memory of that day will live on for a very long time.

One perspective that was shared in response to the blog post relates to implications about the term van attack. As someone pointed out, this tragedy was not a van attack but rather an attack by a human being driving a van directly into people to inflict harm, most of whom were women. It was an act of terror by a person against other persons.

The term van attack was a short form used to describe the indescribable. Albeit unintentionally or not, this term diverted the focus from the person who perpetrated this crime to an inanimate object -the van. As such, the words van attack neutralize and thus, diminish the impact of what happened, namely the terrible killing of innocent people who were in the wrong place at the wrong time. I wanted to put this comment out there because words matter and from time to time need to be unpacked.

Thank you for your thoughtful insights and perspectives. They are always welcome and a reminder that on issues of importance, our thinking is ever unfolding.

 

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