One day after hundreds in Boston were victimized by bombings along the final stretch of the Boston Marathon, the pain and sadness linger. Yet while Boston grieves, displays of kindness and offers of charity from all over the world are helping to heal the city.
Yesterday’s tragedy in Boston spurred the NHL and Bruins to cancel the B’s home game against the Ottawa Senators. Still, while safety concerns prevented the Black and Gold from taking to the ice in a show of defiance, the hockey world voiced its support for the victims of the tragedy – and the city of Boston.
In Montreal, the Bruins’ greatest rival offered its condolences via a twitter message, then held a moment of silence before puck-drop in their game against the Flyers.
Chicago, too, went silent before cheering even more loudly and enthusiastically for our National Anthem.
It was the same in Nashville and Toronto, in Phoenix and in Calgary, where Flames’ public address announcer Alan Beesley said:
“At around 2:45 ET this afternoon, the 117th running of the Boston Marathon was rocked by a series of explosions in downtown Boston… our thoughts and our prayers go to all those affected by this unspeakable tragedy that has befallen one of North America’s greatest sporting traditions.”
However, it wasn’t just the organizations voicing support. Many players offered support and exhibited grief in reaction to the tragedy on twitter.
Marathon Monday is supposed to be a day full of inspiration and happiness. So saddening when something like this happens. #PrayForBoston
— Sam Gagner (@89SGagner) April 15, 2013
Just heard about Boston, sad day in sports history. Thoughts and prayers to all runners, volunteers, spectators and their families.
— Pavel Datsyuk (@Datsyuk13) April 15, 2013
Thoughts and Prayers are with everyone In Boston. #PrayersForBoston
— Matt Martin (@mattymarts17) April 15, 2013
New Englanders and Bostonians playing for other NHL teams responded strongly and emotionally to the news.
Jesus my prayers go out to everyone back home. Feel sick right now.
— Ryan Whitney (@ryanwhitney6) April 15, 2013
Prayers go out to Boston and the marathon participants. There are some sick people in this world. I hope everyone is safe.
— John Carlson (@JohnCarlson74) April 15, 2013
Boston-born Keith Yandle reportedly wrote the words “Pray for Boston” on his skates prior to the ‘Yotes game against the Sharks Monday night.
Even frequent ‘heel’ and Boston Bruins’ adversary Steve Ott got into the act, posting a compassionate message on his twitter account:
Thoughts and Prayers to the people in Boston, I can't believe people can be this horrific. Don't ever forget to say I Love You.
— Steve Ott (@otterN9NE) April 15, 2013
… And these were not all. Thousands upon thousands showed solidarity with the citizens of Boston through social media, through donations of blood to the Red Cross and through the love and shared experience a tragedy of this magnitude offers.
With every word and every deed, these good folks make this horrific day a little easier to bear.
Seeing the horror of Boylston Street, I joined many in shedding tears at the senselessness and the brutality. But, while my eyes dried through the early evening, the sheer volume of the concern and expressed compassion of the global community – and in particular, the hockey community, saw my eyes water again – this time in appreciation, in thankfulness – as well as grief.
On HF Boards, one Habs’ fan declared, adamantly: “Boston will bounce back stronger from this.”
The events of 4-15-13 will never be forgotten. Boston will bear this scar for as long as she sits proudly against the Atlantic. The victims will never forget the pointless violence that befell them.
But, with the help of our sister-cities, Boston will emerge even stronger than before.
Follow Bob Mand on Twitter at @HockeyMand