Today is a day that I am especially thankful.
I am thankful for all the bus rides I’ve taken to get to soccer games and each time, made it to the field.
Those bus rides are some of my happiest memories. But those memories could have easily turned into my worst.
I am thankful for my teammates. I am thankful for the smile they put on my face, no matter the score of the game or if our coaches are mad at us. I smile as I think of us singing our hearts out to our favourite songs, standing on our seats and dancing but making sure the bus driver doesn’t catch us. I don’t know about you, but my teammates keep me going. And it would shatter me if I lost any one of them.
I am thankful for my coaches. It’s easy to get frustrated at them. But without them I wouldn’t be the player, or the person I am. They have dedicated themselves to my teammates and I. How could you go back to the sport you love without the people who made you love it?
To the families of the sixteen who aren’t with us anymore, Canada is with you. You have just completed the hardest year of your life, filled with new ‘firsts’. We are so incredibly proud of you.
To the thirteen survivors, you have fought when I’m sure fighting was the last thing you wanted to do. You have gotten back on the ice. You have overcome a tragedy. We are in your hearts. Canada is with you.
Lastly, I am thankful for this country. When a youth-filled tragedy occurred, Canadians made it their duty to honour and help. Honour those who were taken too young by wearing a jersey. Helping by contributing $15 million to the Go Fund Me campaign to support the families.
Today we mourn but it is also a day to be respectful. Whether you are on a sports team or not, respect those who are your team mates. Whether they are friends, colleagues, siblings, spouses, express your appreciation. Respect your coaches. Teachers, bosses, parents, they all want the best for you, more than you will ever know.
Treasure every moment with those you love. Everything could change in an instant.
Humboldt, we are with you. Canada is with you.
We are all teammates.