Members of the Canadian Armed Forces stationed in Iraq paid tribute to the Humboldt Broncos junior hockey team by placing hockey sticks outside of the soldiers’ barracks, joining others from around the world who honoured the victims in the same way.
The Canadian Armed Forces tweeted an image showing a Canadian flag hanging above a door, while hockey sticks sit outside of each door of the building.
“From Iraq, our hearts are with you. #SticksOutForHumboldt #putyoursticksout,” the army tweeted.
The horrific crash that took the lives of 15 people on Friday happened as the junior hockey team was travelling to a semifinal game against the Nipawin Hawks. The team bus collided with a semi-truck.
On Sunday, thousands of people poured into the Elgar Peterson Arena in Humboldt for a vigil to honour the victims.
They were honoured outside of the community as well, as many social media users began to share photos of hockey sticks left outside on front porches in tribute to the Broncos team.
Winnipeg Jets broadcaster and Humboldt native, Brian Munz, appeared to be the first to post the hockey stick tribute on Twitter, by sharing a text he said he received from a friend he went to high school with in Humboldt.
Munz shared an image of the text message and a photo accompanying it.
“Leaving it out on the porch tonight. The boys might need it … wherever they are,” reads the text message.
The photo shows a lone hockey stick leaning against a wall on the front step of a house.
The broadcaster invited others to do the same.
Using the social media hashtag #putyoursticksout, people from both sides of the border shared pictures of hockey sticks resting on front porches, joining Munz’s call to action.
Like the Canadian military’s image, the #putyoursticks out hashtag went on to get responses from people around the world.