Canada is marking the two-year anniversary of the Humboldt Broncos bus crash
In the midst of the global pandemic, it is easy to lose track of time as days in social isolation blur together — all forthcoming events for the foreseeable future are cancelled, routines for many have completely gone out the window and things like birthdays can't be celebrated as usual.
But, today is a day that Canada as a nation certainly isn't forgetting to honour: the two-year anniversary of the Humboldt Broncos tragedy.
April 6, 2018 is a day the Humboldt Broncos organization, along with the hockey world, will never forget.— Humboldt Broncos (@HumboldtBroncos) April 6, 2020
Today and every day, we remember and pay tribute to all 29.
Always in our thoughts and prayers.#onceabroncoalwaysabronco pic.twitter.com/TmLtbJ9zLP
It was on the evening of April 6, 2018 that a bus full of young hockey players and coaches was struck by a transport truck in rural Saskatchewan, killing 16 and injuring 13.
The accident was devastating for not only for the survivors and countless friends and family members of the victims, but also the hockey community and the country at large given that the sport is such an integral part of our national identity.
Today all of my thoughts and prayers belong to the Humboldt Broncos Family. #hockeyisfamily pic.twitter.com/lP7tGmpkpD— Rob Lane (@robertlane97) April 6, 2020
Soon after the crash, hockey sticks appeared outside of front doors across Canada as residents came together to commemorate the lives lost, and people from coast to coast began sporting the junior team's now-iconic green-and-gold jerseys in their memory.
2 years ago today the Hockey world changed. 16 lives lost and 13 injured when the Humboldt Broncos team bus was involved in an accident. We'll never forget. #sticksoutforHumbolt pic.twitter.com/0g3kxXexCf— Tony 🇨🇦 (Romeo) (@getbent81) April 6, 2020
Because of physical distancing in the face of COVID-19, citizens today are taking to social media to honour the Broncos, saying things like "never forgotten" and "always in our hearts," and offering one another virtual hugs.
Remembering those we’ve lost is difficult at any time but so hard to do alone. These are the most difficult of times...we need to rely on others in different ways today as the personal hugs are gone. So...here’s a virtual hug directly to you and your family, Critter. 💚🤗💛— Kevin C. Garinger (@KevinGaringer) April 6, 2020
Canadian hockey Twitter is covered in green and yellow hearts and thoughtful messages, including from Conservative leader Andrew Scheer, who recognized "the strength of the Humboldt community, and the love and support expressed here at home and around the world since that day."
He called the national response to the tragedy "an inspiration and a reminder of how Canadians step up to help each other whenever needed."
In the midst of this global pandemic, I'd like to take a moment to reflect on the Humboldt Broncos tragedy that happened 2 years ago today. #Mississauga mourns the 16 young lives and remembers the 13 injured as they continue on their road to recovery. #HumboldtStrong 💛💚— Bonnie Crombie 🇨🇦 (@BonnieCrombie) April 6, 2020
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau also paid his respects to those lost in and affected by the crash in a press conference today.
"If you lost a friend, a teammate, or a loved one... if you're still rebuilding and recovering... I want you to know that we're here for you and we will always be here for you," Trudeau said in front of Rideau Cottage.
Prime Minister Trudeau paid tribute to those killed in the Humboldt Broncos bus crash on the two-year anniversary of the devastating accident. More here: https://t.co/FWDEyCnScw pic.twitter.com/MF5P9zrhv3— CTV News (@CTVNews) April 6, 2020
Many are showing off their green shirts today and tomorrow, which is official Green Shirt Day — a movement that started after crash victim Logan Boulet was able to save six lives the day after the accident through organ donation.
💛💚I will wear my @HumboldtBroncos gear on Monday to show support for 29 families. Something incredible happened the next day and I will wear green to support the #LoganBouletEffect #GreenShirtDay— Greg Thompson (@gt_racer_) April 5, 2020
Have the table talk. Be inspired! pic.twitter.com/JKqlqTcApH
And others are using the day to reflect on the current reality, reminding us to be thankful that us and our loved ones are safe and sound, even if it's under imperfect circumstances right now.
We aren’t operating in business as usual mode but today’s anniversary of the Humboldt Broncos’ tragedy makes us stop & assess what’s important in our lives.Frustration & angst pale compared to the emotions those families still experience. Keep it in perspective. #homboldtstrong— Stan Cook Jr (@stancook3) April 6, 2020
In the city of Humboldt itself, bells will ring out this evening at 4:50 p.m. — the time of the fatal crash — followed by a minute of silence. An online collection of commemorative art and memorabilia will also be made available online later today.
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