Puck Rocks: Manchester Strong

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I’m the proud father of a five-year old girl. I’ve also been directly and indirectly affected by terrorism, losing three friends in the 9/11 attacks and having multiple friends who were first responders on that tragic day and on April 15, 2013 in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombings. So that’s why when I was cooking what looked to be a delicious pasta dinner prior to Game 6 of the Western Conference Final between the Nashville Predators and Anaheim Ducks and discovered the tragic news on Twitter of the Manchester Arena Ariana Grande concert bombing Monday,  the cooking ended and suddenly the excitement of watching the Preds punch their first ticket to the Stanley Cup Final became irrelevant. I became glued to Twitter and a swirl of emotions – anger, sadness, disbelief – engulfed me.

Terrorism alone doesn’t make sense and is a cowardly way of achieving what is usually a political or religious goal. But to target kids and more specifically girls, is beyond cowardice! My first thought was to hug my own little one and never let go. Then I thought of all those poor kids in the middle of the chaos and horror and what they were going through. I thought of the first responders – like the ones I know – who were arriving at a familiar landmark in their city, which was now a war zone. But as the night went on and the stories of heroism and the human spirit started to filter into the Twitterverse, a sense of hope filled my heart and brain. The people of Manchester England will never make sense of this and will always be scarred from this tragic event, but they will also get stronger just like New York City and Washington DC did following the 9/11 attacks and just like Boston did when the mantra ‘Boston Strong’ took to life after the Marathon Bombings.

I know that the local hockey club, the Manchester Storm of the Elite Ice Hockey League has stepped up for their city.

A week ago, I was penning a tribute to one of the musical icons of my generation, Chris Cornell, who took his life following a May 17 concert in Detroit. One week later, I’m sending a beautiful cover he did of John Lennon’s classic ballad ‘Imagine’ out to the people of Manchester, England and all who were affected by this tragedy. Stay strong Manchester and know the world is with you.


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