Com­mu­ni­ties pull to­gether

Tri-County Vanguard - - OPINION -

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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.