Communities pull together
It is almost hard to put into words how sad and difficult things were in Yarmouth last week after the tragic accident at the town’s annual holiday parade of lights on Nov. 24 that saw a four-year-old girl lose her life after falling underneath a moving float.
The little girl’s family was devastated.
Hundreds of witnesses were traumatized.
First responders and hospital staff also shared in the pain, as did the entire community.
Yet in the face of so much unimaginable heartbreak we also saw example after example of what communities do best – people support one another when they are hurting.
Fundraisers were held in support of the family. Community and first responder grief sessions were held. Meals were cooked by volunteers and delivered to ease at least some of the family’s burden as they grieved their loss.
And last Monday the community pulled together by the hundreds, with candles lit, to hold a vigil in Frost Park to show their support even while they could not hide their grief.
We did not all know MaCali Cormier before this terrible tragedy. But we will never forget her.
And as Yarmouth was hurting, the Town of Digby in our region decided to keep a purple light in their lighthouse lit to let Yarmouth know they shared our grief. Purple, after all, was MaCali’s favourite colour. It was a simple gesture that was meaningful beyond words.
As you read this issue of the Tri-County Vanguard, you will see many other examples of how we come to the aid of others.
A story on the front page speaks to how people in the community of West Pubnico (and as we know, the Pubnicos have not been without tragedy this year either) came together to keep a family’s gingerbread house holiday tradition alive following the death of a community member in a car accident earlier this year.
Last Wednesday fishermen and community members descended on an East Pubnico wharf late in the day to help others after a lobster vessel, loaded with gear, sank at the wharf just days before the start of the lobster season. In this case, everyone was thankful this incident did not happen on dumping day morning, particularly when the crew was at sea. And the next day fishermen were still gathered, fixing and replacing gear that had been on the vessel when it had sunk. Many people called it a brotherhood.
And on dumping day morning, in wharfs throughout the region – including those here in Yarmouth County – family, friends and even strangers gathered to see off the fishermen on what is known to be one of the riskiest days in the six-month fishery season.
The message being shown to fishermen: we love you, we respect you, we need you and we support you.
There were many, many tears shed in Yarmouth – and beyond – last week and unfortunately, because no one is ever immune to tragedy and heartbreak, there will be more times in the future when we all cry together again.
But it is that word – together – that matters most. When tragedy or near disaster strikes a community, know that you will never experience it alone.
You will be surrounded by caring people who may not always know what to say, but always seem to know what to do.