Friday, February 13, 2009

At a Loss

The last day in Buffalo has seemed like something out of a nightmare - a sky red with fire, sirens wailing through the night, 49 people dead.

The crash of Continental Flight 3407 has left this community reeling, and I feel ridiculous trying to write about a hockey game when so many are mourning.

My uncle would have been on that plane if he had decided to spend an extra day in New Jersey. I thank God that he's home safe with my three little cousins. A co-worker of he and my father was on that flight, and I'm sure all of you reading know someone who was touched personally by this tragedy.

I guess I just never thought that something like this could happen here. When you read about plane crashes, they seem so far-off, but this is anything but remote. One of my best friends used to live in Clarence Center, so I know how small and close that community is. I cannot imagine what it must be like there right now.

In the midst of all this, there is a hockey game tonight. I was surprised to read just how many Sabres players live that close to where the crash occurred. I don't know how they'll manage to put their shock and sadness aside to play tonight. Lindy looked as sad as I've ever seen him, and I feel for the players who had to explain to their young children what was going on only miles (or in some cases, yards) from their homes.

Some may say that tonight's game against the Sharks should have been cancelled or postponed. It's not my place to say what they should have done, but I feel that having them play is a good thing for the community. Buffalo lives through its sports teams, and, in times of tragedy like this, we need that burst of life more than anything.

Our sports teams bring us together as a city, as a common group of people. They give us a chance to forget about the crises in our lives for a little while, and, no matter how menial the distraction may seem, it is necessary in order to function some days.

It's easy to say that sports really don't matter in the face of events like what happened last night. However, I'm not so sure that's true. Sports allow us to pull together for something positive. Sports give us hope. No matter how good the Sharks are or how shaky the Sabres looked on Wednesday, there's always a chance that something good will happen on the ice. It's that hope of happiness that I'm looking forward to right now.

My thoughts and prayers go out to all of the victims and their families. In a community like ours, take comfort in the fact that we will help each other through this because that's what we do.

Let's Go Buffalo.


Shelby Rose said...

I agree with everything you mentioned in this post, Katie.

Let's go, Buff-a-lo!

Katie said...

Thanks, Shelby. I really didn't know what to say, but I hope that I put something meaningful on here.

Adam said...

Well said, Katie. Thanks for keeping everything in perspective.

Katie said...

Thanks, Adam. This was such a hard thing to write about, but I honestly feel that sports do serve a purpose in times like these - especially in Buffalo.