'We remember them'
Remembrance set for Monday
Published: Thursday, November 14, 2013
Updated: Thursday, November 14, 2013 22:11
Monday will mark the 14th year the Aggie community has come together to remember the 12 killed in the Aggie Bonfire collapse of Nov. 18, 1999.
For the first 10 years after the collapse, family members were heavily involved with the ceremony and have since shifted more of the responsibility to the students.
The ceremony will be held at 2:42 a.m. Monday at the Bonfire Memorial. The event is to be more of a celebration of the lives of the fallen than previous ceremonies.
The ceremony will open with a moment of silence initiated by the Yell Leaders and followed by the singing of “The Spirit of Aggieland.”
Ryan Crawford, head Yell Leader and senior political science major, said he will speak and read the poem, “We Remember Them,” for the lives lost.
“In a similar spirit to Silver Taps and Muster, Bonfire Remembrance is a way for us to stand and say ‘here’ for our fallen Aggies and to let their families know that we are here to support them,” Crawford said.”
A Roll Call for the Absent will be held for the 12 and a candle will be lit in each portal of the memorial as each name is called.
Graham Shelby, internal vice president of Student Government Association and senior finance major, said the ceremony provides a chance for current students to show support even though the tragedy took place before their time at A&M.
“It is a really good opportunity for students to be a part of an internal piece of Aggie history, to celebrate those lives,” Shelby said.
The ceremony will end with the singing of “Amazing Grace,” as the candles are extinguished.
Dennis Mills, Class of 2000 and former member of Company A-2 of the Corps of Cadets, said he was a part of the Aggie Bonfire construction in 1999 and was about to start his Bonfire duties with his outfit when the structure collapsed before his eyes. He said the experience united everyone together as a family.
“You don’t ever want to forget what happened,” Mills said. “A lot of people worked hard on the Bonfire and it’s something you don’t want to forget. You want to remember all the hard work put into it. You want to remember the lives lost, working on such a big tradition for A&M. They did it for their school. They did it for tradition.”
Souad Barry, freshman general studies major, said it is important to remember those Aggies who were lost in the tragedy.
“Even though I wasn’t there the year it had happened, I still feel emotionally connected to it because of the Aggie family,” Barry said. “The amount of care we have for each other in the Aggie family is so unique in that way.”