Look­ing back on 2018

South Shore Breaker - - Lo­cal -

of Bri­tish Columbia and Cal­i­for­nia in ashes. Cost­ing bil­lions of dol­lars in dam­ages and hun­dreds of lives, the fires were un­prece­dented in scope but, sadly, just the be­gin­ning of a trend that will only con­tinue to worsen, fu­elled by global warm­ing (which, by the way, Trump de­nies is a real thing).

4. Mass shoot­ings in the U.S.: One mass shoot­ing is one too many but ac­cord­ing to the US Gun Vi­o­lence Ar­chive, there were 307 mass (more than one vic­tim) shoot­ing in the United States dur­ing 2018. This hor­rific statis­tic in­cludes the Mar­jory Stone­man Douglas High School shoot­ing that took place on Fe­bru­ary 14. On that day, a lone gun­man opened fire at the high school in Park­land, Florida, killing 17 stu­dents and staff mem­bers, and in­jur­ing 17 oth­ers. Th­ese events leave one beg­ging the ques­tion — why?

3. Le­gal­iza­tion of cannabis in Canada: The recre­ational use of cannabis was le­gal­ized by the fed­eral govern­ment and took ef­fect on Oc­to­ber 17. What else is there to say? It’s a new world.

2. Thai soc­cer team trapped in cave: On June 23, 12 young mem­bers of a boy’s soc­cer team went ex­plor­ing in Thai­land’s Chi­ang Rai prov­ince with their foot­ball coach — and ended up trapped deep in­side a cave un­der­neath a moun­tain. The dra­matic res­cue bid gripped the world as emer­gency per­son­nel raced the cal­en­dar to get the boys out be­fore the start of the quickly ap­proach­ing mon­soon sea­son. The dar­ing res­cue mis­sion ended on July 10 with the last of the boys be­ing pulled safely from the cave. The gru­el­ing, 18-day or­deal that claimed the life an ex­pe­ri­enced vol­un­teer diver that and riv­eted peo­ple around the world, was over.

1. Hum­boldt Bron­cos crash: A deadly bus crash that united a hockey-mad coun­try in grief and spurred peo­ple to leave sticks on porches from coast to coast tops my list of news sto­ries. There is no doubt that no story af­fected Cana­di­ans in 2018 more than the Hum­boldt Bron­cos bus crash. The ju­nior hockey team was on its way to a play­off game when its bus and a semi-truck col­lided at a cross­roads in ru­ral Saskatchewan on April 6, killing 16 peo­ple and in­jur­ing an­other 13. Ten play­ers, along with the team’s coach, an as­sis­tant coach, trainer, ra­dio play-by-play an­nouncer, statis­ti­cian and the bus driver were killed. Of the in­jured, two play­ers were par­a­lyzed and two re­ceived se­ri­ous brain in­juries.

Cana­di­ans and oth­ers around the world started leav­ing hockey sticks on their front porches to hon­our the team. Many sticks are still stand­ing out­side. Peo­ple from more than 80 coun­tries do­nated $15 mil­lion to sup­port those on the bus and their fam­i­lies. RCMP have charged the truck’s driver with 16 counts of dan­ger­ous driv­ing caus­ing death and 13 counts of dan­ger­ous driv­ing caus­ing bod­ily in­jury. The Cal­gary based truck­ing com­pany also faces eight charges re­lat­ing to non-com­pli­ance with fed­eral and pro­vin­cial safety reg­u­la­tions in the months be­fore the crash.

And that, in a nut­shell, was the year that was. Who knows what the fu­ture holds for any of us? It is true, though, that we can’t dwell in the past but we have to re­mem­ber our his­tory as it will help to shape and guide us into the com­ing months.

The truth is, we don’t know where we’re go­ing if we don’t know where we’ve been, or least that’s the view from here.

Her­ald Ar­chive

The recre­ational use of cannabis was le­gal­ized by the fed­eral govern­ment and took ef­fect on Oct. 17.

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