Emergency first responders will likely be the first people to tell you they wouldn’t think twice about putting their lives on the line to save others.
But in the face of extreme tragedy, first responders across Canada can’t imagine the horror that was faced by those who responded to the Humboldt Broncos crash site.
“I can’t imagine what they’d be feeling, I don’t even have a message for them, other than our love and thoughts are with them,” Mike Blackburn said, a division commander with Halifax Regional Fire and Emergency.
Halifax firefighters donned jerseys, custom-made for the department, in honour of the nine firefighters who lost their lives in the Halifax Explosion of 1917.
A former junior hockey player, firefighter Mitch Henneberry, says he is especially impacted by the tragedy.
“It hits really close to home, spending so many hours on the bus and now going to calls like this, I can’t imagine being there,” Henneberry said.
#JerseyDay swept across the nation Thursday, a movement aimed at showcasing the immense amount of sadness people around the world are feeling for the 16 people who lost their lives in the bus crash.
Most of the victims were in their late teens and early 20s.
A grim reality that many students at Halifax West High School have a hard time wrapping their heads around.
“They had so much ahead of themselves. My age right now, all I’m thinking about is university, about prom, about graduation, all this stuff that’s to come because we’re young but the fact that they couldn’t experience that is just so sad because their lives got cut short,” Sohiba Muhammad said, co-president of the Halifax West student government.
Despite the thousands of miles that separate Saskatchewan from the Maritimes, students hope the town of Humboldt is feeling the waves of support from the nation that’s grieving with them.
“We may be on the other side of the country but we can still show our love any way we can,” Dawson Anthony said, a Grade 10 student at Halifax West.