Wednesday, November 18, 2009

We remember

Today is the 10th anniversary of the fall of the Aggie Bonfire. I remember that day like it was yesterday. I remember ignoring a random phone call around 3:00 in the morning. I remember annoyingly answering a 5:45 phone call from Sis who was getting ready for work hours away. She asked where my boyfriend was and, half-asleep, I told her that he was out at Build. I woke up quickly when she told me that Stack had fallen and early reports were that there were students dead. I remember moving quicker than I had in years to throw on some pants and literally ran across campus to my friends’ dorm. I dated a guy in the Corps all 4 years of college, and he and some members of his outfit were among my closest friends. I was reassured that he was fine, and in fact never went out the night before thanks to an early morning test. Other members of the outfit were not so lucky. A few saw it all happen, some were on Stack itself, some were walking injured, a few were hospitalized, and one gave his life. Everyone dealt with it differently. I guess we still do.

Like I said, I remember it all like it was yesterday. I will spare you the details of hospital visits, trips to the MSC, memorials (campus wide and in small groups), the stream of phone calls to and from anyone and everyone whom we loved, liked, or only once knew. One thing I will forever be grateful for is the fact that Dad had a speaking engagement on campus with the Aggie Fellows Program the next day. Despite it being cancelled, both he and Mom drove down that morning and sat with me at Sweet Eugene’s while news continued to come trickling in from a wide variety of sources. They brought me almost every paper that covered the tragedy. I still have them all. I still have my candle from the vigil that night, one from the Midnight Yell before the big game, and one from that year’s Muster. I still have the ribbon that stayed on my coat throughout that fall and winter. I have the receipt from the flowers that I took to the site early one morning. I have countless pictures of those two weeks. Through it all, the Aggies, far and wide, were a family. We stood together. We stood in remembrance. We stood for those who no longer could. We stood for the Aggie Spirit for it is a “Spirit can ne’er be told.” We continue to remember.

For those 12 individuals, for those 12 Aggies, I will call "HERE" today and always.

This video is a bit more uplifting. Jeff's Yell Leader speech, President Bush's remarks, and the comments from Dr. Gates at the memorial are all poignant. Plus, the game highlights remind me of when the Wrecking Crew was present, Jamar Toombs was at his best, and the beast that was Brian Gamble.