One year on, Lac-Megantic remembers

People walk over the railway during the

People walk over the railway during the "Marche Silencieuse de la Lumiere et de la Vie" in Lac-Megantic, Que., on July 6, 2014. The march was held to commemorate the first anniversary of the crude-oil train explosion that killed 47 people on the morning of July 6, 2013. (REUTERS/Mathieu Belanger)

Nicolas Lachance, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 4:25 PM ET

LAC MEGANTIC, Que.-- In a poignant and moving speech, Lac-Megantic, Que., Mayor Colette Roy-Laroche told the residents of her town to keep moving forward, remember the past and embrace the future.

It has been one year since the tragic train derailment that killed 47 and destroyed Lac-Megantic's downtown core. The town is still rebuilding, and perhaps most importantly, still coming to grips with so much loss.

Residents gathered for a midnight mass at the local church, or as Father Steve Lemay called it last summer, "the family house."


People touch a memorial monument after a memorial mass at the Sainte-Agnes church in Lac-Megantic, Que., on July 6, 2014. (REUTERS/Mathieu Belanger)

Click here for more images of Lac-Megantic remembering the deadly train explosion

"It has been 365 days," Roy-Laroche said, "since we all covered our faces instinctually. We put our hands in front of our eyes to not see the horrors in front of us, to hide our fears, and to wipe our tears away. For a time, we all hoped we would wake up from a terrible nightmare. When we moved our hands from our face we saw that the horror was real, and that sadly the worst was yet to come."

While talking about those difficult days right after the explosion, the mayor thanked the firemen, police, first responders and volunteers for their hard work.


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