If you take anything away from this weekend, let it be these images: More than 150 football stadiums across our state, lit up at the exact same time Friday night to honor the Class of 2020. But in reality, it means so much more.
Yes, we honor all the seniors, including senior athletes who are missing out on one last go-around with their teammates, those missing Prom and likely a graduation ceremony as well. That class – and really all athletes and students across the state and country - are getting a bum deal here. They deserve the recognition, and that’s why we continue to do so here on “Q It Up Sports.”
But, frankly, I saw so much more that. To me, Friday night’s effort was a show of unity and hope from neighborhoods all across our state.
Football fields, stadiums, arenas - they serve as central locations for communities to congregate – for not just sports, but for special events, fundraisers – all helping bring people together.
And even though they weren’t full on Friday, the bright lights to me symbolized optimism and a reminder that we’re all in this together.
Now, that doesn’t mean that everyone is in the same boat or situation, nor does it mean that we all have the same opinions on how to handle the ongoing crisis. But it’s a reminder that each of our communities should be there for one another during this very uncertain time – that most importantly, each of our communities are still standing strong.
There was a powerful message in those lights on Friday night. One that need not be spoken – one that was even more impactful given the peace and silence of the setting itself.
These stadiums will be full again one day. They’ll once again serve their original function, hosting throngs of fans from their respective communities, providing a physical sense of togetherness that eludes us right now. We will all come together again. We will all cheer together again.
In my mind, they called it ‘Be The Light’ Washington for a reason far beyond providing hope for one particular group of graduating seniors, albeit a very noble cause.
They called it ‘Be The Light’ Washington to account for us all: A symbol of community strength. And a symbol of community hope.