For 23 years since the tragic events of Hillsborough that cost 96 Liverpool fans their lives, have been hidden from the light, the truth was hidden by those trying to cover for their own mistakes and late last year when the Hillsborough Independent Panel report was made public it allowed the truth that the 96 were truly victims of a very tragic event. It doesn’t matter if you are a Liverpool fan, a fan of soccer/football, when the truth is hidden from people, when lies are told about the victims of a crime it impacts everyone.
Now 24 years later, the truth is known about the events of April, 15th 1989 and while it cannot bring back those who lost their lives, it can provide a bit of closure, a little easing of the pain they have suffered for decades, now the fight can truly be for justice for those who lost their lives and for their families. It is amazing to see how a city, which is most days divided by football, comes together on this issue to provide support to the families, on this day red or blue matters not, but on this day the people of Liverpool are one united in the search for Justice for the 96.
For me I remember watching the news coverage of the tragedy here in the States and wondering how such a tragic event could happen. I had been to sporting events a various venues both in the US and in Europe, and at no time have I ever felt unsafe. Yet the changes that came about as a result of the Hillsborough tragedy at venues around the globe have probably saved many lives, one is still left wondering how things could have gone so wrong on that day. I was already a soccer fan, and while it would be almost a decade before Major League Soccer would kick off, and 5 years before the US hosted the World Cup, the events of that day and the reaction of the Liverpool families and fans in their fight for justice and the truth, are a large part of what has made me a Liverpool fan. I remember last summer as I made a trip to see Liverpool play in Baltimore, how proud I was of US based fans to pay homage to the 96 in sign and song:
It reminds me that often football goes far beyond just being fans, and as so many of us know here in Salt Lake, you club becomes a part of your family.
If you care to know more about what happened, or how the families and fans continue to fight for justice for those lost, check out the Liverpool site.
That’s How I See It