BY NICK GRANADOS
Last Wednesday night, the Boston Bruins took to the ice against the Buffalo Sabres. The game, which was the first major event to take place in Boston since two explosions went off near the finish line of the Boston Marathon two days prior killing 3 and injuring more than 130 others.
Prior to faceoff, a tribute video was played on the jumbotron honoring those affected by the tragedy. After a moment of silence was observed, longtime Bruins anthem singer Rene Rancourt took to the ice to perform the national anthem. As Rancourt started the second line of the “Star Spangled Banner”, he lowered his microphone and the crowd began to sing the remainder of the national anthem.
Despite the Bruins falling to the Sabres in a shootout, there was more than just hockey taking place that night. The gathering was one example of how the city is “Boston Strong”, as it has come to be known. Despite the Bruins’ shootout loss, the message still got across.
The Boston Red Sox also resumed play after they postponed their scheduled game on Friday due to a city-wide lockdown as authorities searched for the second suspect (The Bruins also postponed their game scheduled for that night).
They resumed play on Saturday April 20 against the Kansas City Royals at Fenway Park. After a moving pre-game ceremony, which included a memorable pre-game speech from Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz, the Red Sox took to the field wearing jerseys with “Boston” written across the front in place of the traditional “Red Sox”. Daniel Nava’s 3-run home run propelled the Red Sox to an emotional 4-3 win.
After the tragedy, many stadiums played Neil Diamond’s hit “Sweet Caroline”, which is traditionally played between the 8th inning at Red Sox games as a tribute to Boston. Even the Red Sox’ biggest rival, the New York Yankees, paid tribute. In addition to playing “Sweet Caroline”, they displayed a sign on Yankee Stadium that displayed the logos of the Yankees and the Red Sox with the phrase “United We Stand” in between the logos.
The most memorable rendition of “Sweet Caroline” was on Saturday in Boston. Neil Diamond made a surprise appearance at Fenway Park and sang his classic hit, much to the delight of the fans in attendance.
As sports continue to play a role in the healing process, the Celtics and Bruins are preparing for the NBA and Stanley Cup playoffs, respectively.
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