*Editor’s Note: This piece originally ran Nov. 18, 1970.
An emptiness now floods the new laid green
And magnifies the grief that fate has stirred.
Tenses change from ‘will’ to ‘would have been’
—Marshall is without the Thundering Herd.
Who knows what wields the ruthless hand of fate
Whose arbitrary grip was felt that night;
What had they done in their short lives to rate
The tragic, shattering ending to the flight?
The sports directors, newsmen, fans and wives,
Who supported Marshall’s team through thick and thin,
Gave so much: they gave their lives;
Against the odds of death they did not win.
The sky that watched was cruelly cold and grey
As seventy-five hearts were turned to flames,
Those who played, and those who watched them play:
There’s no one left, just memories and names.
And we who weep at that which has occurred
To brother, husband, son, Mom, Dad and friend,
Must face the fact the thundering we heard
Was not a storm beginning, but an end.
As life goes on the tears and grief will fade,
An empty green will echo cheers again,
But memories of those who watched and played
For the Sons of Marshall ever will remain.