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Editorial: Fountain Ceremony a unifying event for Huntington community

A+photo+of+the+1970+Marshall+football+team+is+displayed+during+the+44th+annual+memorial+service+Friday+at+the+Memorial+Student+Center+plaza.
A photo of the 1970 Marshall football team is displayed during the 44th annual memorial service Friday at the Memorial Student Center plaza.

A photo of the 1970 Marshall football team is displayed during the 44th annual memorial service Friday at the Memorial Student Center plaza.

Lexi Browning

Lexi Browning

A photo of the 1970 Marshall football team is displayed during the 44th annual memorial service Friday at the Memorial Student Center plaza.

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Today, the Marshall and Huntington communities come together to honor the lives of 75 Thundering Herd football players, coaches and supporters who were lost in Southern Airways Flight 932 on Nov. 14, 1970.

It could be just what both communities need after several events have created a rift amongst different groups within those communities.

The main purpose behind the annual memorial fountain ceremony is to remember those 75 people who died, but it should also be a moment for those in attendance and watching and listening from at home or work to reflect on how lucky one is to wake up and still be on this side of the earth.

Those 75 people do not have the chance to wake up today and continue living their lives.

A tragedy like this puts into perspective for many in Huntington how precious each one of our lives are. The years following the crash was a test for Huntington and Marshall. Often, when we mourn a life, we tend to alienate each other. We blame, we get upset and we avoid all ways of addressing the issue.

Today is an example of how we, as a community, did not choose to run away or alienate each other. It would have been easy to not bring back the football program; it would have been easy to never talk about it again. It’s challenging to address the events of Nov. 14 every year.

Yet, we choose to do that so that we never forget and so we can understand that this fountain ceremony is something that needs to be done.

The year 1970 was a time of transition for the United States. We were in the midst of a controversial war, a transition of administration in the White House, and Huntington was dealing with a loss of its community members and its own identity.

It really puts in perspective what is actually difficult in our daily lives and what we choose to make difficult. We choose to let small issues bother us, we choose to get mad at one another over differing beliefs, and we choose to alienate friends instead of realizing how precious our relationships are.

Today should be a day where we, as a university and a community, come together and remember those who don’t let the small problems get to them. It’s not just the 75 we lost; it’s the families who are reminded every year on this day about a real tragedy that still has a tangible impact on this community.

In a time in America where life may seem like it is difficult or daunting because of outside noise, we need an event like this to put what’s important into perspective.

 

 

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