Buffalo: A Year In Review
by: Alexandra Kriegel
As we begin the new year there is always a lot to look forward to and a lot to look back on. Buffalo has had lots of ups and downs over the past year but in these past few weeks, Buffalo has been the attention worldwide. On January 2nd at 8:55 pm Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin went into cardiac arrest on the field after a hit from one of the Bengals players. This was a terrifying and heartbreaking moment for everybody watching the game, especially the Buffalo community. Buffalo Bills trainers and staff provided CPR to Hamlin where he was resurrected on the field and taken away by an ambulance. The game was then presumed canceled. Now Hamlin is home in Buffalo with his family and friends after being in the hospital for 9 days. In the hospital, Hamlin was being treated and getting lots of tests done. As a die-hard Buffalo Bills fan this is never the outcome you want from a game but it is wonderful to know that Hamlin is doing well. Now Buffalo has the playoffs to look forward to where they are ranked the #2 seed in the AFC.
Pictured above in order are my mom, me, and my brother cheering on the Buffalo Bills during one of their regular season games in November
The Buffalo Bills season has overall been a big plus for the year 2022 as they have had a great season. When asked about being a Buffalo Bills fan Mr. Carone replied "The best part of being a Bills fan is the Bills Mafia mentality, we are all in this together, pulling for each other, waiting for the next shoe to drop, but ready to get up and do it again: 'No one circles the wagons like the Buffalo Bills,' ESPN Analyst Chris Berman."
Written by Mr. Carone "The picture above is Buffalo natives Papa Joe, Big B, and yours truly celebrating the Thanksgiving Day win over Detroit."
This 2023 has been quite the start for Buffalo but if we go back to 2022 that year wasn't smooth sailing either. At the beginning of 2022, the pandemic was still a really big factor in the world everywhere and definitely challenged small businesses all throughout Buffalo. Some unfortunately struggled and couldn't keep their businesses while some still managed and pulled through to keep their businesses and are doing great today.
On May 14th, 2022 the Buffalo community lost 10 lives to the mass shooting that occurred in Buffalo at a Tops Friendly Markets supermarket. Thirteen people, ages 20 to 86, were shot. Eleven were Black and two were White. 3 people were injured and 10 people were killed. All 10 people killed in the shooting were black and were killed by Payton Gendron, a 19-year-old White man who pleaded guilty to one count of a domestic act of terrorism motivated by hate, 10 counts of first-degree murder, three counts of attempted murder, and weapons possession charge. This took a heavy toll on the Buffalo community. But when Mrs. Kriegel was asked How has Buffalo and being a part of the Buffalo community impacted you? Mrs. Kriegel replied "'Buffalo The "City of Good Neighbors" is a resilient one, especially over the last year. A mass shooting, the deadly blizzard, and a terrible injury to Damar Hamlin, but through it, all the people of Buffalo stuck together. Community equals family in Buffalo. A lot of genuinely nice people come together in a time of need, support, or celebration. The Buffalo community lives that day in and out and why it fills you with pride to live there or to be from Buffalo." This statement alone shows just how much the Buffalo community cares and wants to be there for each other. The community of Buffalo donated money and held food drives for the victim's families, supermarkets, and the Buffalo community. As this was a devastating time it not only brought sadness to the Buffalo community but it brought us all closer and made us a stronger community.
As the Buffalo community was preparing for the holiday celebrations things came to a hard stop as they experienced a massive and deadly blizzard. The National Weather Service forecasted the storm as a "once-in-a-generation event." Many people delayed parties and celebrations of the holiday due to the extreme weather. The storm, unfortunately, led to 41 deaths which was absolutely devastating news to the Buffalo community after all that had happened in 2022 so far. The deaths were recorded as 34 in Buffalo and 7 in Cheektowaga which are both within Erie County. The storm also led to more than 108,000 customers being without power. The National Grid recorded a total of 148 broken poles, 137 damaged transformers, and 1,260 sub-transmission circuits that needed to be replaced. First responders and utility workers had their work cut out for them but unfortunately, with the crazy snowstorm, this was delayed for a few days. Buffalo got a recorded 50.3 inches of snow which calculate to just about over 4 feet of snow. This snow caused a driving ban and lots of people being stuck in their homes. Mrs. Kriegel has lots of families and loved ones in Buffalo. When asked about the storm she replied "Fortunately the Blizzard of '22 did not have any major impact on my family. It was more of an inconvenience. They stayed put in their homes for several days, adjusted Christmas plans to get together after the storm passed, and waited days for their streets to be plowed. But no one was hurt or sick, or even lost power during the storm, so I was thankful that they were all safe. I also really like a good snowstorm. Not the blizzard type, just the ones that dump a lot of snow. I fondly remember being at my parent's home when they were hammered with 72 inches, yes 6 feet of snow, in 3 days. Neighborhoods came together to help dig each other out, check on the elderly and each other, and see who needs assistance without hesitation. It is just what the community of Buffalo does. "Buffalove" - is all about the love for Buffalo itself."
Pictured above is my aunt's road and front door during the blizzard
As the days go on in the year 2023 the Buffalo community still remains strong and is hoping for a healthy and happy year. Plus a Superbowl win.