A deep silence fell over the Elgar Petersen Arena on Saturday from 4:50 p.m. CST until 4:51 p.m — exactly one year since the Humboldt Broncos bus crash.
A memorial took place in Humboldt, Sask., where family, friends and supporters gathered to honour the lives lost and affected by the collision that left 16 people dead and 13 injured.
As part of the service, 29 candles were lit in honour of everyone on the bus when it collided into a truck on April 6, 2018.
Their names were read out loud as the candles were lit.
Mariko Boulet, sister of Logan Boulet who died shortly after the crash, took the podium as candlelight and cell phone flashlights could be seen around the arena.
“To the living, I am gone. To the sorrowful, I will never return. To the angry, I was cheated. But to the happy, I am at peace and to the faithful, I have never left,” she said, reciting a poem she had written.
Other speakers included, family members and religious leaders, along with performances by the Long Walker’s Drum Group and Children’s Choir: Humboldt and Prince Albert.
CBC will be updating this story throughout the night.
‘A whole range of emotions’
Scott Thomas, father of Broncos player Evan Thomas who died in the crash, made his way to the arena a few hours before the memorial — spending about 45 minutes at the crash site along the way.
“It’s a whole range of emotions,” he said.
“On the way up we’re getting texts from family and friends, Evan’s friends texting us with pictures they found on their phones … stuff from when they were eight, nine years old and it makes us smile all the way up. Then we get to the crash site and it’s the exact opposite of that.”
“It still seems so unreal that somehow this tragedy hit our family like that. It’s just nonsensical. You’re confused and you’re just heartbroken,” Thomas said.
‘It seems dark in here’
Humboldt Mayor Rob Muench, who is speaking at the memorial, was also inside the arena before the program started.
“It seems dark in here,” he said.
“The last time I was in here was a hockey game, so you know it’s quite different. But it’s something we’re going to have to go through as a community, to recognize this one year anniversary, and we’ll move forward from there.”
This story originally appeared on CBC