Planning for Valentine’s Day Memorial Walk

The 6th Annual Valentines Day Memorial Walk will be February 14 2014
Annual Valentines Day Memorial Walk will be February 14
The 6th Annual Valentines Day Memorial Walk will be February 14 2014
The 6th Annual Valentines Day Memorial Walk will be February 14 2014

Murdered and Missing Women Never Forgotten

THUNDER BAY – I sat down to gather my thoughts and plans for the annual Valentines Day Memorial Walk to take place a month from now. This year, the walk falls on Friday February 14th. The photo here is not the official poster but the image is one I uploaded early one morning when I first thought about starting to plan the walk.

For now I booked the Lakehead Labour Centre Hall for the event and I am confident that the rest will fall into place. I will post a Facebook event page as soon I get confirmation on other details.

Please inbox me here or email: if you are available to donate the following:

– food and/or drinks for a potluck lunch
– gifts for elders and drummers

As well, start thinking about making posters to carry, or photos of loved ones…sisters, mothers, grandmothers, etc.

This memorial walk is a sacred walk that began for me, six years ago when I decided to join other groups that were holding Valentines Day walks across Canada for missing and murdered women.

With my late sister’s anniversary date falling on February 13th, I also wanted to raise awareness of her unsolved murder.

However, since our last memorial walk in September, the FULL MOON MEMORY WALK…some events and circumstances surrounding the plight of our missing and murdered Anishinabe women and their families, have lead to some new insights and changes for me.

Memorial Walk Open to All

With one being a major decision that I will share at the Lakehead Labour Centre on the day of the memorial walk. I also just want to let family members and/or supporters know that this memorial walk is open to the public, for other families who have lost someone and would like to come and share a story, a poem, a song…something nice to remember a loved one.

I encourage everyone to come out and support. As for my family and for my mother mostly, Valentines Day is another tough day for us as we watch people all around us buy each other roses and nice gifts to share that love and affection on this special day.

And again for me personally, this memorial walk is close to my heart as I have been doing this annually mostly for my mother and for my family.

When a family member is no longer with us and was taken brutally and suddenly, we are left with a gaping hole in our hearts that we try to fill, and sadly sometimes leading to unhealthy choices or addictions that may pull us further into our grief as we try to cope. I am grateful to those who crossed my path and took my hand, after I lost my little sister as I strayed further into self-destruction, the pain was unbearable.

So it is my hope that with this gathering and memorial walk, that we can support one another and join hands to lead each other out of that darkness. Or if we are in a good healthy place, support someone who may need it whether it’s by coming out to walk beside them, or just volunteering your time.

Sometimes a hug, a smile or a simple ‘how are you?’ is all it takes for us to know that we are not alone.

Sharon Johnson

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