Last week, a bus carrying a Canadian ice hockey team, the Humboldt Broncos, collided with a semi-trailer truck leaving 15 people on the bus dead- many of the dead were young hockey players. This lead to outpourings of grief around the world. The memorial service for the dead was streamed on to the internet. Within 24 hours some $3.7 million Canadian ($3.8 million Australian) was raised to help the team's families. Canadian families left hockey sticks outside their doors, as a remembrance for the lives lost. Before last week, many Canadians had no idea where Humboldt is on the map. It is a small farming community of 5800 people. Yet last week attention was fixed upon the community.
Whenever a life is cut short, it always leaves people wondering what if. What gifts and talents might have these people contributed if they had lived longer? Oh sure that happens with any death- but it seems more poignant when the person is young. They were just starting life with so many opportunities before them. And now it is over. Multiply that grief by 15 deaths, and we can understand why people all over the world felt such sadness for people from a town they had never heard of, dying in an accident.
During our life time we experience thousands of moments of joy and thousands of moments of sadness. I think each one of those blips effects our lives a little. They shape and mould our characters. But certain of these events are touchstone moments that effect society as a whole. They are the events where the whole world seems to pause and be affected by the event. Such events in my life have been watching Neil Armstrong walk on the moon, the assassination of John Lennon, the resignation of Richard Nixon, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the death of Princess Diana, the September 11th attacks are events that stick out in my mind. I can remember where I was when each of these events happened. That's not to say that other events were not important in the development of my character, but these touchstone events allowed me to share joy/grief/despair/hope with the world. Blessings