Today marks the 10th anniversary of the collapse of the Aggie bonfire back in 1999. It's hard to believe it's been 10 years. I was in college at the time and remember waking up and hearing the news, and just being in complete shock. For those not familiar with the Texas A&M tradition, here is information about it here. It was built every year before the big game between the Aggies and the University of Texas Longhorns. For those of you not fortunate enough to be from the great state of Texas, the Aggies/Longhorn rivalry is as great as the Yankees/Red Sox rivalry in baseball.
Even though I did not attend Texas A&M, I've had a connection to it my whole life. My oldest sister graduated from there (in fact she was in college when I was born). I grew up in Austin, but did not attend the University of Texas. But, I have always felt some sort of connection to this rivalry despite not attending either school.
The collapse was tragic, but it brought the state of Texas together like nothing I had ever seen at that time (this was pre-9/11). Aggies, non Aggies (including Longhorns), came together for a time of mourning and healing. Even if you didn't "bleed maroon", you felt like you were a part of this family known as Texas A&M, and you shared in the sadness.
I was on YouTube earlier and found some videos I wanted to share.
The first one is the tribute the Longhorn band did at halftime during the Longhorn/Aggie football game. They dedicated their performance of "Amazing Grace" and "Taps" to the 12 Aggies who lost their lives.
The second is a recap that CBS News did of the bonfire collapse and a recap of the football game (which, by the way, the Aggie won).
Finally, a tribute to the fallen 12. We will never forget. God bless.