Marshall University's Student Newspaper

The Parthenon

Marshall University's Student Newspaper

The Parthenon

Marshall University's Student Newspaper

The Parthenon

The Herd will face off against the Bulldogs in next seasons opening game.
Football Announces Opener Against Bulldogs
Joseph DiCristofaro, Sports Editor • July 16, 2024
View All
Grassie and Beals Contracts Extended
Scott Price, Chief Copy Editor • June 24, 2024
View All
Hillary Adams, director of the Marshall
HELP Center.
HELP Director Loves Helping Others
Wade Sullivan, Student Reporter • June 26, 2024
View All
The Parthenon on Twitter
The four former football players called Tuscaloosa home.
Marshall Miles Away: Families of Victims Push for Monument Re-Location
Sarah Davis, Managing Editor • June 28, 2024
View All
Griffin Miller tallied four strikeouts in four innings.
Ragin' Cajuns Ravage the Herd
Ben Cower, Student Repoter • April 24, 2024
View All
This years Community Cares Week was the third of its tradition on Marshalls campus.
Community Cares Reaches Campus and Beyond
Baylee Parsons, News Editor • June 6, 2024
View All
The Parthenon on Twitter

Marshall Miles Away: Families of Victims Push for Monument Re-Location

The+four+former+football+players+called+Tuscaloosa+home.
Courtesy of the Tuscaloosa Thread
The four former football players called Tuscaloosa home.

The choice of location of an Alabama monument that would honor four players who died in the 1970 plane crash is being criticized by those closest to the tragedy. 

Tuscaloosa natives Joe Hood, Larry Sanders, Robert VanHorn and Fred Wilson were a part of the 75 killed in the Marshall University crash. On Tuesday, June 11, their hometown’s city council proposed to build a monument at the newest YMCA facility.

The community of Tuscaloosa was originally going to see the monument built at the Benjamin Barnes YMCA facility, which is currently under construction. However, the approval from city council members to move forward with the project on Tuesday, June 18, was not matched by everyone.

The next day, family members of the honorees spoke up about their disappointment in the city’s chosen location. They are pushing for a more visible spot or beside the football field the boys grew up playing on. 

Story continues below advertisement

“I feel like there’s not enough traffic that way by the Y site, and this is like pushing them back, back in history, back down the field because that’s way out there,” VanHorn’s sister Emma Hardy told the Tuscaloosa Thread. “If we bring it closer in, we’ll get more people to see that statue, look at it, and bring back history again for the people that don’t know: the children and younger generations.”

City Councilwoman Raevan Howard addressed the conflicting opinions about the upcoming monument. She said many factors led to the placement, and it was thoughtfully considered.

“Hundreds of children will visit the YMCA on a weekly basis, and the statue will serve as an inspiration for our children that role models can come from their city and not just from social media or TV,” she said. “All the team members participated in sports activities at the YMCA. This location will allow easy and safe access to the statue because there will be two public institutions side-by-side. It will have daily maintenance and oversight from the YMCA team plus regular care and attention from the city.”

Despite this, the families’ reasoning behind their opposing opinion remains: honoring their loved ones as they see fit. Daphne Wilson, niece of Freddie Wilson, said if more patience means they will get a better location, it’s worth it. After all, she said, they are used to it.

“It’s not about the grant, it’s not about the money, it’s about a heritage we have to honor because those are our little ones,” Wilson said. “This happened in 1970. Our families have waited 54 years, so if we have to continue to wait, that’s okay.” 

Families also expressed their dislike of the sketch, saying it did not display their loved ones with enough detail.

For now, Howard said all involved have agreed to continue moving forward with the monument, but the displeased are planning to speak at next week’s council meeting.

View Comments (1)
Donate to The Parthenon
$100
$500
Contributed
Our Goal

Your donation will help continue the work of independent student journalism at Marshall University. If you benefit from The Parthenon's free content, please consider making a donation.

More to Discover
Donate to The Parthenon
$100
$500
Contributed
Our Goal

Comments (1)

All The Parthenon Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • U

    Ulysses G. Lavender, JrJun 28, 2024 at 10:10 pm

    If these statues are truly indicative of the city wanting to honor them, why wasn’t the family included in the plans?
    To have it placed at the crowded plaza,of the Hughes Center and the Barnes Branch YMCA, doesn’t mean it will be noticed.
    The city rushed to build the Barnes Branch Y at the next location, and once there reneged on the square footage.
    For once, do the right thing. Listen to the families. Listen to tthe people who loved them and grew up with them. . Use 15th Street and Martin Luther King, Jr Blvd.

    Reply