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Don Cherry, Ron MacLean and others pay tribute in Humboldt, SK

Some truly heartbreaking, yet healing and inspiring words from the heart of the Canadian prairies.

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In case you missed it earlier this evening, the community of Humboldt, Saskatchewan held a vigil to honor the 15 victims of Friday’s tragic bus accident involving the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League’s (SJHL) Humboldt Broncos.

The mournful gathering featured stories of sympathy, grief and outright heartbreak for the young men, coaches and staff who were lost as a result of this horrific accident. In attendance were some of hockey’s biggest names including legendary CBC broadcasters Don Cherry and Ron MacLean, as well as Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Yesterday evening on CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada broadcast, Cherry dedicated most of his Coach’s Corner segment to those lost in Friday’s accident. Never one to be at a loss for words, even the outspoken Cherry couldn’t come up with the words to describe this tragic event. 

“There’s no words that can describe what happened here. You sit on those busses day after day, night after night… what can you say to the parents? God love them.”

For the full segment, see the video below:

Prior to Sunday's vigil, Cherry, McLean and Trudeau visited some of the surviving 14 individuals in hospital.

Perhaps the strongest, most poignant words of Sunday's vigil however came courtesy of Broncos President Kevin Garinger. Before sharing the names of the departed with those in attendance, Garinger showed incredible strength in delivering his powerful and inspiring message:

We are gathered in a state of shock and unbelievable heartbreak. For many of us, the real reach and scope of this community tragedy will not be fully realized for days, weeks, months or even years as we continue to process everything that has taken place over these last few days. But in all this darkness, a light has shone through.
This light has come from the first responders, from the medical professionals who have worked miracles and continue to work miracles for our Broncos family. It comes from the remarkable community of Humboldt as people come together to offer their strength, their time and their kindness. This light will only grow in time. And in time, the darkness will fade.

Earlier yesterday Garinger confirmed that while the team’s season is over, that the organization will be back. He'll make it his personal mission to ensure this tragedy does not mark the end of the franchise.

For a replay of tonight's vigil from Humboldt, please click the link below: