Sunday, October 26, 2014

Hockey stopped to remember slain soldiers on Saturday night

Saturday's cross Canada broadcasts brought Canadians together after a week of unfathomable violence, with the host cities of Ottawa, Toronto and Montreal in the early games providing the forum for the nation to seek a sense of normalcy, from a week that delivered something completely different.

In all of the home cities on the night, salutes were made to the memories of two fallen Canadian soldiers, struck down in terrifying incidents that will remain on our minds, indicative of the times we now live and leaving Canadians to call on the resolve that they have summoned in the past and this week were required to reach back for once again.

The evening started with the tribute from Ottawa, beamed simultaneously to the arenas of Montreal and Toronto, as members of the slain solider Nathan Cirillo's regiment stood at attention, Constable Lyndon Slewidge delivered the first lines of O Canada.

His job then shifted to national conductor, as the sold out crowd at Ottawa's Canadian Tire Centre, joined in by those in Montreal and Toronto, led the nation in a stirring rendition of the anthem, with particular focus on the lines of glorious and free.


The Flames who also were playing on Saturday, had provided  a similar salute and rousing anthem offered the view from the West on Friday night, as Canadians took stock of the week and exhaled five days of built up anger, concern and grief.

The ceremonies provided the clarion call for the nation to salute it's service members and those that came to their assistance this week. From four cities it was the right tone, the right pace, the right thing to try and bridge a horrid week and bring somewhat of a return to a sense of normalcy.

The evening of remembrance also provided opportunity for Hockey Night in Canada commentator Don Cherry, a strong supporter of Canada's military to deliver a heartfelt tribute to the soldiers murdered this week.

In addition, Mr. Cherry also provided right on the nose commentary on how Canadians tend to forget not only the sacrifices of their military but of the nations veterans, calling attention to a fund that is seeking to raise money in support of the fallen soldiers of this week.

Toronto Sun-- Don't forget Vincent and Cirillo, Canada
National Post-- Don Cherry urges Canadians to support funds for slain soldiers, armed forces: "Do this and send the money, I know I will"

You can learn more about the StandonGuardFund here.

Next week and in that follows, Canadians will send off their two fallen soldiers with funerals, another heart wrenching moment and one that will be observed from coast to coast to coast.

And while as a nation there will still be mourning, still be questions, for a few hours on a Saturday night, hockey helped regain some of the balance that was desperately needed.

Some accounts of the atmosphere Saturday night can be found below: -- Canadian teams honour slain military personnel -- Hockey Night across Canada pays tribute to fallen soldiers in show of solidarity
Ottawa Sun-- Not a dry eye at Sens' tribute to fallen soldiers
Ottawa Citizen-- A tribute to the fallen soldiers, an overtime victory to New Jersey
Ottawa Citizen-- Senators, Maple Leafs, Canadiens join forces in pre-game tributes
Toronto Star-- NHL honours fallen soldiers in poignant three-city tribute
Globe and Mail-- Hockey returns to Ottawa with emotional pre-game anthem ceremony
Globe and Mail-- Hockey rises to the occasion and unites a nation
National Post-- Ottawa Senators, Maple Leafs, Canadiens hold joint pre-game tribute to fallen Canadian soldiers
National Post-- Toronto Maple Leafs topped by Boston Bruins after emotional pre-game tribute to called Canadian soldiers
CBC-- Senators, Canadiens, Leafs pay tribute in pre-game ceremony

No comments: