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Posts Tagged ‘Toronto van crash’

It’s a sad day in Canada. We are still reeling from the tragedy of April 6th when a bus carrying 29 members of the Humboldt Broncos Junior Hockey Team crashed in Saskatchewan, leaving 16 players and staff dead and 13 injured. The next couple of weeks were filled with sorrow, tears, questions, shows of support from far and wide…and funerals. Many funerals. How does anyone make sense of such a tragic accident?

#PutYourSticksOut:Humboldt Broncos

Yesterday, April 23, 2018, will be another day we’ll all remember. Not because of “a tragic accident”, but because of a senseless, violent, intentional act.  An act that left 10 people dead and 14 injured on the street in the middle of a bright, sun shiny day in North York, a suburban district of Toronto. One 25 year old man deliberately pointed the rented cargo van he was driving into pedestrians as they enjoyed the first spring-like day at the end of a very, bitter, winter. He didn’t stop. For 2.2 km (almost 1.4 miles for our American friends), he continued to smash into poles, benches, walls and people, leaving a trail of bodies along the way.

The times in which we live make it impossible (unless you live in a cave) to not know what happened. In graphic detail. The news outlets were on scene almost immediately as most of them are based in the city. Regular programming was cancelled and countless reports told the story along with endless on-scene videos and photos from every angle imaginable. Cell phones and social media supplied images all day.

I am very close to my younger sister’s children. They are as close as I can get to having children of my own. From the moment they were born I spent as  much time with them as possible. I used to take them everywhere. When Andrew, who is the older of the two kids, was about three, I strapped him into his car seat and drove about 130 km (about 80 miles) into Toronto for the annual Photography convention. It is a huge convention at one of the largest venues in Toronto, with thousands of people in attendance each year. We had a delightful drive into the city. I parked my car, then made my usual clumsy attempt at getting Andrew unharnessed. His eyes were big as saucers. I lifted him out and nonchalantly placed him on the pavement. As I watched his face, his eyes got even bigger. He lifted his head up, taking in his surroundings. He continued to lift his face heavenward as he tried to see the tops of the buildings and the CN Tower. Higher, higher, higher! Until he flipped over backwards. I managed to catch him before he hit the pavement. It hadn’t occurred to me that he had never been out of Niagara Falls. He had never seen the big city of Toronto in all its glory. Looking at our surroundings through his eyes made every thing seem brighter and shinier for me.

That was 30+ years ago.  It’s hard for me to imagine a child feeling that sense of wonder at seeing the tall buildings now. They would have seen it all on their tablet. They would have been exposed to all kinds of experiences on their TVs. Like the horrific scenes from yesterday’s tragedy. How do they “see” those things? How do they process what they see? And how, please tell me how we explain to the children why this would happen?

•••

(This showed up on my facebook page this morning – April 25 – and it seemed appropriate to share it here)

Michael de Adder

From Micael de Adder – Cartoon for April 24. #HumboldtStrong #humboltbroncos #TorontoAttack #TorontoStrong #TorontoMapleLeafs #Toronto

 

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