With images of blue and yellow ribbons (like the ones the Flyers wore on their helmets and jerseys) projected onto the ice, the Wells Fargo Center crew honored the victims of last week’s Boston Marathon bombings before Tuesday’s game (see story).
While the song “Carry On” by the band Fun played, images of runners, fans and first responders ran in a slideshow on the Jumbotron.
“The whole thing I thought was really one of those moments that grabbed you,” said Peter Laviolette, who was born in Franklin, Mass.
“I had goose bumps the whole time the video went off. To hear the Philadelphia fans as passionate as they are about the city of Philadelphia and Philadelphia sports, start yelling for Boston as the videos going on, that was touching as well.
“I don't think it's just a Boston thing or the Boston people rallying around. I really think it's one of those moments in time that gets captured by a country or gets captured by our world and it's bigger than the city itself.”
The crowd cheered loudly every time the screen showed a photo of a Boston police officer. Members of the Philadelphia police and fire departments stood on the ice while it played.
The brief pregame ceremony gave fans a chance to stand in solidarity -- #BostonStrong -- with the team and the city, and they did. In fact, during a brief pause just before Lauren Hart’s rendition of “God Bless America,” a fan shouted out, “WE LOVE YOU, BOSTON!”
That’s a big change from what’s typically hurled from the stands this time of year.
“Hopefully at one point you can start the healing process, not that it will ever be the same for a lot of people, but you hope that maybe a night like tonight where you're able to generate some funds and recognize a city that's under duress,” Laviolette said.