Multimedia"We are Marshall" song by Ryan Parker
Guest BookDo you have a memory of a loved one lost Nov. 14, 1970? Are you new to the story and would like to comment?
- Lengyel talks about Spring Hill Cemetery
- 2006 Memorial Service
- The 2007 Memorial
- Re-dedication of Memorial Fountain
- Kopp's remarks at the 2007 memorial service
- Snyder talks during the 2007 memorial service
- The annual memorial service for those killed in the 1970 plane crash
- Kluemper's remarks at memorial service
- Ward's remarks at 2007 memorial ceremony
EDITORIAL: Message of hope from MU crash story still inspiring today
Published Nov. 14, 2008
Today, we remember.
Each Nov. 14, the bustle of Marshall University stops for a couple of hours, as campus and community pause to reflect on the 1970 plane crash that took the lives of 75 players, coaches, staff and supporters traveling with the school football team.
It was a loss almost too great to comprehend or overcome. But somehow, a community picked up the pieces and kept going. The school that wondered if it would ever play football again built a tradition of champions.
As local residents have always known, this story of tragedy and rebirth is powerful and unique. Today, through the 2006 movie "We Are Marshall" millions of others know that, too.
At last year's memorial service, there was a greater sense of healing. Time and the process of sharing this story with the world had been cathartic for some family members and others touched by those events of 1970.
Parker Ward Jr., who lost his father in the crash and was the keynote speaker last year, noted that the movie activities and early screening had brought many family members back to Huntington for the first time. Many had never been to a memorial service or felt much closure, but he urged the crowd to remember that "life does go on."
"And as life goes on, I challenge you to remember that hope is a good thing -- maybe the best thing," he said. "And hope will never die."
Just this week, a visitor to our Web site reminded us of that once again.
"Hi, my name is Kelly, and I'm from Australia," she wrote Tuesday. "I've watched the movie, and I must say I couldn't stop crying, it was so sad ... one day I hope to come over and visit the place where they all stood and played."
For many in Huntington today, the remembrance is deeply personal and always will be.
The 38th memorial service at noon today will follow its own simple traditions, including the thoughts of Marshall students and dignitaries, the laying of a wreath and turning off the fountain until spring -- all unchanged by the attention of Hollywood.
But our community can also take some comfort in knowing that this difficult chapter in our history continues to grow as a message of hope -- not just for our region, but for people half a world away.