Thursday, April 12, 2018


Humboldt Broncos
 A great tragedy occurred last Friday around dinner time just 30 km north of Tisdale, Saskatchewan. There were 29 people riding on a charter bus to Nipawin where the Humboldt Broncos hockey team were to play Game 5 of their semifinal series with the Nipawin Hawks. A semi truck crashed into the front part of the bus killing 16 and injuring 13. Among the 16 killed were the coach, the assistant coach, the team's athletic therapist, 2 employees from Humboldt's FM radio station and the bus driver. The other 10 were from the Homboldt Bronco's hockey team. Their ages ranged from 16 to 29. (A full article about the victims and a little information about each of them can be found HERE.)
 The country seems exceptionally shaken up over this accident. We certainly were. We hear of shootings, terrorist attacks and natural disasters all over the world claiming multiple lives and it is all truly awful. But for some reason the Humboldt Bronco tragedy is staying with us. I think it's because it was a hockey team involved and we have experienced hockey in some way or another.
 My boyfriend and my friend's brother were on the same hockey team for a couple of years. I remember riding the bus to tournaments alongside her and being part of the excitement of a hockey team. A lot of my girlfriends growing up played hockey as well. Humboldt is a town of nearly 6000 which is smaller than my hometown. So I know that small town mentality. Everyone knows everyone. Everyone goes to those hockey games because that is what is going on on a Friday or Saturday night. Hockey guys are a different breed entirely. In my experience, they're cocky but lots of fun. They're sure of themselves but they all share a deep bond with one another. I also have a little nephew that lives and breathes hockey. It hits home..
 Rob, my husband was a goalie in Thunder Bay, Ontario growing up. He was on a AAA team and rode the bus to and from tournaments. He grew up with a lot of guys that went on to the NHL that played on teams like the Broncos before making it big. These players lived with billets in different towns all over the country for their chance at the show. He is also in our local fire department. It hit him on two levels.
 Each night since the accident we found ourselves discussing the Broncos. We shared stories we heard on social media of the young men, we've talked in length about the Nipawin Fire Department that answered that life changing call. We were supportive of each other in putting up green lights in our daughter's room and leaving the porch light on for days. We silently supported the other because it matters to us.
 So it was the other night that I read an article that Thursday, April 12 would be Jersey Day. People were encouraged to wear a jersey of any kind to show love and support for those that were left behind and those that have passed on. As soon as I read about it I knew I wanted to take part in it. Being on maternity leave has left me with the time to go on Facebook and Instagram often and I started to see family and friends posting their pictures of them wearing jerseys. I was touched. I love the unity of it all.  It warms my heart to see what an impact these young men have had on so many lives. It's inspiring and devastating, encouraging yet heartbreaking all at once. That's why it is so special.
 While I was getting ready I had this whole daydream that I was being interviewed by the news while walking downtown with the kids in our jerseys. I wanted to explain why it was so important to us to participate... (This is my little speech I had for my fake interview..)

My daughter asked me this morning why we had to wear our jerseys today. I explained to her that a lot of people, a lot of young men were hurt in this accident. People always want to help in tragedies but they don't know how to. Today is about unity and showing support. By wearing the jersey we are telling the people and families involved that we are here for them. That they are not alone. And not just the families and friends of those hurt or killed. The Nipawin Fire Department that helped rescue and remove people from the bus is comprised of everyday people. Our fire department is made up of people in a rainbow of professions. We have a hair dresser, a stay at home mom, a bus driver, an electrician, a paramedic, a young man fresh out of high school,etc. Those were the kinds of people that heard a page and went to a call that changed their lives forever. So I want to say that we appreciate and honour those individuals that put their own lives on hold to help, assist and rescue those in need. If anything, I hope people find comfort in the thousands of pictures of porch lights left on, with hockey sticks left out front or of smiling faces wearing jerseys being posted. I know I have.

Thank you to those of you that participated in Jersey Day and for giving me permission to post your pictures to my blog.

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#JerseysForHumboldt #HumboldtStrong #HumboldtBronchos #NipawinFireDepartment #YouAreNotAlone

#HumboldtBroncos #NipawinFireDepartment


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