On Thursday April 12, students at Vankleek Hill Collegiate (VCI) participated in the nation-wide jersey day to honour the members of the Humboldt Broncos Junior A hockey team who fell victim to a horrific bus crash on Friday April 6. Students wore a variety of sports jerseys throughout the day to signify unity and support from all Canadians. The normal day of classes was preceded by a 15-minute ceremony in order to pay homage to those who lost their lives in the accident. The ceremony included a period of silence and a hauntingly beautiful gesture by the VCI hockey team members who stood together in front of the altar made specifically for the Broncos and one by one, placed their sticks against it, in unison with country singer Paul Brandt’s song ‘Small Towns and Big Dreams’. The small ceremony made a big impact in the school; it made students realize that the true horror of the crash was not just in the multiple deaths but also in the fact that all those who died or were injured were a son, a sibling, a nephew, a neighbour, or a friend, connected to the close-knit community for whom they played. The town of Vankleek Hill and the people within, deeply sympathize with the Humboldt Broncos and their community.
Photo and text by VCI student James Lauzon