It is with heavy hearts that Canadians and those abroad, learned this past Friday evening, April 6th, that a chartered bus carrying the Humboldt Broncos Junior Hockey Team, fatally collided with a tractor-trailer while travelling to a Playoff game in Nipawin, Saskatchewan. Fifteen young men lost their lives, ages 16 to 23 in the prime of their youth as members of the Broncos team, sharing a passion for hockey and tight friendship bonds, which only a close, brotherly team sport can develop and nurture.
Fourteen young men survived this horrific accident and are hospitalized in Saskatoon, SK (where Rod had recently played last Wednesday evening, April 4th). Many are in critical condition, others are deemed to be in stable condition. Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau flew to Saskatoon yesterday to visit the survivors in hospital and their parents.
Last night Rod, himself a hockey dad, took time to honor the crash victims during the Unplugged and Seated segment of his Calgary, AB show. Team photos, taken just 3 weeks ago after clinching a semi-final playoff spot, were displayed on the huge video screens on Rod's stage, with players smiling together in their white, green & yellow colored team jerseys. Rod paid tribute by addressing his fans with these words of support and sorrow: "My son, who plays hockey and he plays in this area, has done all those journeys. It just brought it all upon me, how quick life can end". . .
Sir Rod then performed his superb version of the iconic 'People Get Ready'. Upon hitting the final note, Rod shared a photo of his hockey-playing son Liam on the big screen. "That's my boy!" Rod exclaimed proudly.
The Queen and Prince Phillip also issued a statement of condolence and sympathy to the players' grieving families, and to all Canadians whose hearts have been impacted by this senseless tragedy.
- Shanlee Johnson