It’s been a week since the Humboldt Broncos’ bus crashed, and the news still stings.
On Wednesday, another member of the team’s personnel succumbed to her injuries, bringing the toll to 16 dead in the catastrophic crash.
In the wake of the news, the outpouring of love for the victims’ families and friends has been astounding, with millions of Canadians – as well as well-wishers from around the world – posting messages of condolences and support. There is also a post circulating via social media – shared almost 150,000 times – showing support for the driver of the truck that crashed into the hockey players’ bus.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visited survivors in hospital and attended a vigil for the team, and Queen Elizabeth II reached out to offer condolences.
Across the country, Canadians are placing hockey sticks outside their front doors, and Thursday was deemed Jersey Day by a group of hockey moms in Langley, to encourage people to wear jerseys in a show of solidarity to those affected by the crash.
There’s also the $9.6 million (at press time) and counting that’s been raised via a GoFundMe campaign, and WestJet offered assistance to anyone needing help getting to Saskatoon, running larger aircrafts on scheduled flights to make more seats available.
In Quesnel, locals are just as shaken as the rest of the country. Quesnel residents are getting involved with Jersey Day and other campaigns, and members of the Cariboo Elite Training Camp observed a moment of silence during the camp on Monday, no doubt emotional thinking of their fellow hockey players.
None of the boys on that bus were from Quesnel, but they could have been. Every time a parent sends their child – no matter their age – off into the world, out from under their protective wing, there’s that niggling worry. The Humboldt crash is every parent’s greatest fear come true, to the 16th degree.
Humboldt is a small, rural Saskatchewan community with a great hockey team. Although less densely populated than Quesnel, we see ourselves in its residents, and in those affected by the crash.
Hockey is a community sport. It involves those who play, those who coach, those who watch. No, we didn’t know those boys, their coaches and trainers. But they are emblematic of the heart and soul of our country, and our communities, and their suffering affects us all.
It will be a long time before this tragedy fades from our minds.
But the response – all that money, all those hockey sticks – brings hope to communities all over Canada, and, hopefully, some measure of comfort to the Humboldt Broncos and their families.
Quesnel Cariboo Observer