It wouldn't be much of a Liverpool blog if we didn't take time out today to acknowledge the 23rd anniversary of the horror that was the Hillsborough Disaster.
This will sound a lot like what I wrote last year on this day. As an American Liverpool supporter who found the club and sport well into my teenage years, those like me scramble to absorb ourselves in the culture of the club. We try and learn the history as best we can as quickly as we can, we memorize the songs and chants, we gobble up any more information we can find to feed the ever-growing beast of fandom within us.
This one, however, is always tough. First, no one in their right mind wants to voluntarily soak up the grief, shock, and awfulness of such an event. Nobody should choose to be depressed. But we acknowledge and pay tribute as best we can. But most of all, for those of us on this side of the pond, it's just so hard to comprehend. It's really beyond belief, because it's not something we've ever dealt with as fans here.
What gets me is just the amount of cluelessness from so many people it must have taken to let such an event happen. There had been warning signs before, and it was obvious a lot of the grounds around England were just waiting for something to happen. And yet no one had a plan, or answer, or a method to save the lives of people who merely came out to watch a football match. It's not evil per se, but criminal negligence. How could no one at any level foresee such a thing and do something about it? Surely someone somewhere had the slightest inkling of a disaster that could await if nothing was done.
But it wasn't, and there weren't, and 96 people never came home. Even not having lived through it, and marking the anniversary of something that seems so foreign and unfathomable, I am horrified by that fact.
96. One would have been far too many.