texas a and m bonfire

By the way, this is still a renegade bonfire, not sanctioned by Texas A&M. After the 1999 bonfire collapse killed 12 and injured 27 others, the tradition. Aggie lore has it that if the Bonfire stood until after midnight, they would win the game. Since the initial Bonfire in 1909, Texas A&M students have banded. 18, 1999: Bonfire collapsed at 2:42 a.m., killing 12 Aggies: Christopher David Breen of Austin; Christopher Lee Heard.

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A long-standing tradition at Texas A&M, the Aggie Bonfire was built and burned as part of the school’s rivalry with the University of Texas at Austin. Over the years, the stack grew in size, and in 1999, it was so large that it collapsed during its construction, killing 12 people (eleven current students and one former student) and injuring 27 others. Tonight, on the finale of ABC News’ 20/20,  multiple witnesses and victims involved in the tragedy will discuss what happened in those early morning hours of November 18, and how their lives were forever changed by the event.

Read on to learn more about the infamous “Aggie Bonfire” collapse of 1999.


1. Twelve Students Were Killed During the Collapse

texas a&m aggie bonfire collapse of 1999, Aggie Bonfire collapse, Aggie Bonfire 1998, Texas A&M Bonfire

The first Aggie Bonfire was burned on November 18, 1907. (Youtube/Screenshot)

On November 18, 1999, at 2:42 am, the Aggie bonfire collapsed, killing 12 students and injuring 27 others. The stack was 59-feet high, and made up of about 5,000 logs. 58 students were working on assembling the fourth tier at the time, and over half of them were either injured or killed by its crash. The student-run first-responder service was the first to arrive at the site, and they administered first aid to as many students as possible. After the University Police were notified of the events, they requested aid from the state, and Texas’s elite emergency response team, Texas Task Force 1, arrived to assist. According to the USFA’s official report, the first person to call 911 reported that about thirty people were trapped under the logs after they came tumbling down. The report added, “The first firefighters to arrive at the incident were confronted with a scene eerily reminiscent of the children’s game of pick-up-sticks.”

Over 3,200 individuals worked together for nearly 24 hours to assist in the rescue, which was divided into three phrases according to the USFA. The first phase involved transporting as many victims as possible to the hospital; the second, extracting victims who were trapped in the stack. And the final phase involved removing the bodies of the deceased and “completely dismantling the bonfire stack.”


2. The Bonfire Is Held Off-Campus Today

texas a&m aggie bonfire collapse of 1999, Aggie Bonfire collapse, Aggie Bonfire 1998, Texas A&M Bonfire

The Aggie Bonfire is a long-standing tradition thats part of the schools rivalry with University of Texas at Austin. (Youtube/Screenshot)

After the bonfire collapsed, Texas A&M declared a hiatus on the tradition; in the wake of the tragedy, the entire school was shaken and mourning the loss of friends and fellow students. However, since 2002, an unsanctioned, off-campus “Student Bonfire” has been constructed by students in honor of the original bonfire.


3. The First Bonfire Was Burned in 1907

texas a&m aggie bonfire collapse of 1999, Aggie Bonfire collapse, Aggie Bonfire 1998, Texas A&M Bonfire

In 1999, the bonfire collapse killed twelve people, eleven of whom were current students. (Youtube/Screenshot)

The first Aggie bonfire was burned in 1907 to congratulate the school’s football team on their recent win. Then, in 1909, the bonfire was moved to be on-campus. It took a decade before the event revolved narrowly around the annual rivalry game between Texas A&M and the University of Texas. Traditionally, freshman were expected to build the bonfire to “prove their worth”.


4. Between 30,000 and 70,000 Came Annually to Watch It Burn

Each year, the bonfire lighting attracted between 30,000 and 70,000 observers– who came together to honor the rivalry between the two schools. The Texas A&M website writes, the bonfire “…became a symbol of the deep and unique camaraderie that is the Aggie Spirit.”

During the lighting ceremony, students would play “The Spirit of the Aggieland” by the school band, and a reading of “The Last Corps Trip” poem. Why was burned in the first place, though? Well, “…Aggie lore has it that if the Bonfire stood until after midnight, they would win the game.”


5. There Are Two Times the Bonfire Has Not Burned

The first time the bonfire did not burn was in 1963, in honor of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. It was built, but torn down in tribute to the late president. Texas A&M Head Yell Leader Mike Marlowe said, “It is the most we have and the least we can give.” The second time the bonfire was not lit was in November 18 of 1999, when it collapsed and killed twelve students.


Источник: https://heavy.com/news/2016/07/texas-am-aggie-bonfire-collapse-1999-abc-news-2020-in-an-instant/

We Remember: The History and Tragedy of the Texas A&M Bonfire

The Texas A&M Bonfire is remembered by the Aggie family every year on the 18th of November for it’s rich history and tragic collapse.

Early in the morning of November 18th, 1999 the Aggie family experienced the worst tragedy to ever occur on the campus of Texas A&M. At 2:42 AM, as dozens of Aggies scurried about the stack, the entire structure came tumbling down. Of the 58 students that were working on the grounds at that time, 27 of them were injured and 12 of them were killed.

Bonfire burned for the first time in 1907 as a symbol of the Aggies “burning desire” to beat the hell outta the University of Texas on the football field. It burned every year before the Aggies played Texas until 1963. Out of respect for President John F. Kennedy, the stack was disassembled following his assassination on November 22nd, 1963.

In October of 2003, work began on the construction of the Bonfire Memorial. The memorial was dedicated on November 18th, 2004. It stands today as a reminder and encouragement of the ever-present Spirit of Aggieland.

On this day, even 17 years later, we Aggies stop to remember the lives of those 12 individuals that lost their lives on that day.

Howdy: Write for the Gig'Em Gazette

Remembering the 12 fallen Aggies

Bonfire was cancelled following its collapse in 1999, but the Spirit lived on. In 2002, students built and burned the first “unofficial” bonfire. The following year, in 2003, the Student Bonfire organization was founded.

Student Bonfire has been using the same design since it was founded in 2003, resulting in a stack less than half the size of those from the 1960’s. Many students have pushed for the return of bonfire to the Texas A&M campus, but currently it burns off-site, with obvious hesitation to return it to the university. Student Bonfire draws more than 10,000 Aggies every year, even attracting 12,000 in 2013 when it was postponed due to flooding.

***Special thanks to Scott Eden and Texas A&M for source information***

Источник: https://gigemgazette.com/2016/11/18/texas-remember-aggie-bonfire/

‘13th Man’ tells story of A&M bonfire survivor

Minn offers a little background for those unaware of the bonfire tradition. Historian Dan Quinn suggests humble beginnings in the film: “It’s an all male semi-military school in the middle of nowhere at the turn of the century: There’s not a lot to do, so the guys threw some rubbish into a pile and set it on fire.”

ON HOUSTONCHRONICLE.COM:Texas A&M bonfire collapse still a scar for Aggies everywhere

Unrated

Running time: 108 minutes

Where: Premiere Greenspoint 15, Houston; Showbiz Cinemas, Kingwood; Studio Movie Grill, Pearland; Webster NASA Premiere 8, Webster; The Grand, Conroe; Cinestar Cinema, Huntsville; Westwood Cinema, Brenham

**½ (out of 5)

The trash fire became an engineering feat. At its peak, the stack set a Guinness record at 109 feet.

Footage of the students dotted along the side of the stack makes for a startling sight. One survivor was about 45 feet up at around 2:45 in the morning on Nov. 19, 1999 when he noticed the ground moving.

Minn then shifts his narrative toward some of the students buried in the stack, including Tim Kerlee, whose internal injuries would prove fatal, yet who directed rescue efforts to other students inside the stack of logs. Comstock’s rescue took over seven hours. He underwent multiple surgeries and didn’t leave the hospital until April 2000.

Minn threw a wide net, but he doesn’t find an efficient way to edit it into a fluid story. A few talking heads on the story’s periphery don’t offer any real insight into the tragedy or the aftermath. The film at times feels like a TV doc forced into a longer format.

Still, there are moments that resonate beautifully for viewers outside the A&M culture, including halftime scenes from the A&M/University of Texas game eight days after the accident, and footage of students years later carrying candles to the memorial that stands at the site of the accident.

[email protected]

twitter.com/andrewdansby

PREVIEW: Get experts’ picks for concerts, kids’ stuff, fine arts, movies and more delivered to your inboxweekly.

Источник: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/entertainment/movies_tv/article/13th-Man-tells-story-of-A-M-bonfire-survivor-14825811.php

Texas A&M vows study of fatal bonfire collapse

While parents and students continued to grieve Friday, Texas A&M University officials promised a thorough and impartial investigation into the deadly collapse of the Aggie bonfire, which claimed its 12th victim Friday.

"Our ideas are just forming," said university President Ray Bowen, referring to A&M's plans for the investigation. "We need to create an inventory of the criteria that go into the creation of bonfire."

The school's towering bonfire, composed of an estimated 8,000 logs wired and stacked 40 feet high, crashed to the ground Thursday morning.

Tim Kerlee Jr., a freshman from Bartlett, Tenn., died Friday, bringing the death toll to 12: 11 students and a recent graduate. In addition, 28 people were injured. Four remained in critical condition Friday, two of them on life support.

The body of the last victim was removed from the pile of fallen timbers at 2:12 a.m. Friday. The jumble of logs was completely dismantled by volunteer crews by 3:25 a.m., "about 24 hours to the minute" after the logs thundered to earth, Bowen said. Now, the first priority is "to make sure that this horror never visits this campus again," he said.

With funeral arrangements and hospital recoveries in progress, it would be premature to talk about the legal liability of the university, he added.

"Regrettably, in our society, in everything we do, you have to worry about a lawsuit," Bowen said.

The investigation will involve "local expertise" and non-university assistance, Bowen said. He declined to elaborate.

A number of large engineering firms have approached A&M to offer expertise in unraveling the mystery of the bonfire's collapse, university officials said.

The pattern of the inquiry, including what agencies might lead the investigation, will emerge "in the calm that we hope will emerge in the next few days," Bowen said.

In Austin, Lt. Gov. Rick Perry and other Senate leaders said they have no plans to seek an independent inquiry.

Former President George Bush, whose presidential library is on the A&M campus, had a short answer Friday when asked if bonfire should continue next year.

"Absolutely," said Bush, who was visiting the A&M campus to deliver a speech. "There's no way to express the emotion that the Bush family feels about this."

For most of Friday, campus officials and local law enforcement officials worked to secure the perimeter of the bonfire tragedy.

Rusty Thompson, a university adviser to the student crews that build bonfire, said "a blueprint as such doesn't exist" for the stack's construction. It was a matter of students teaching "the next generation of students" in an "on-the-job learning experience," he said.

A&M administrators said Friday that student supervisors diligently train and oversee younger bonfire workers to ensure safety, with the result that the number of students needing medical attention for bonfire-related injuries has declined in the last decade. They could not provide any statistics.

In the late 1980s, between 55 and 85 students a year typically were treated at the campus health center for injuries suffered while constructing the pyre, said William Kibler, A&M associate vice president for student affairs. He said the injuries ranged from minor to severe. About 5,000 students participate each year in building the bonfire, A&M officials estimated.

On Friday, an orange plastic mesh fence replaced the yellow police tape that had encircled the city-block-size accident site. A smaller fence inside that perimeter encircled the spot where the logs once stood.

A&M freshman Paul Alexander Jones, a survivor of the collapse, returned to the scene Friday.

"I saw people get squashed in it and it fall on people," said Jones of Marshall, Texas. In a calm voice, his face an emotional blank, he added, "I saw the white faces of complete terror in the brief second or two that it was falling."

Some rescue workers who responded to the collapse described what they found.

Bart Humphreys, a spokesman for the College Station Fire Department, said the bonfire's center pole _ two pine telephone poles spliced together _ had been broken into three pieces. He said the spliced part had held together.

It was impossible to tell whether the broken center pole was the cause of the accident or whether it resulted from the accident or from cleanup efforts, he said.

At St. Joseph Regional Health Center, where many families were holding vigil, at least one seriously injured student was insisting that the 90-year-old bonfire tradition should be continued.

When the parents of engineering student Chad Hutchinson of Houston arrived at their son's bedside, he told them that he wanted the bonfire to burn, they said.

Hutchinson, who hurtled 50 feet to the ground as the stack collapsed, was originally listed in critical condition.

Cheryl Davis, mother of critically injured business major William Davis of Bellaire, a Houston suburb, recalled talking with her son before he began work on the bonfire two weeks ago.

"What if you get hurt?" she said she asked him.

She said her son, a 20-year-old sophomore, replied: "Mom, no one ever gets hurt."

Davis is recuperating from a punctured lung, liver bruise, fractured facial bones, an elbow shattered in 25 pieces and a fractured pelvis.

Mrs. Davis said she chose not to tell him that some of his bonfire "partners" had passed away.

Her son's doctor, St. Joseph surgeon Frank Castro, said anyone who survived the tragedy was lucky to be alive.

"I've seen a number of logging injuries in Louisiana, and they are always terrible," Castro said. "They are not good injuries to have. He is exceptionally fortunate to have survived."

The prognosis for Davis is guarded but good. "I fully expect William to walk out of the hospital," Castro said.

A university insurance policy offers up to $5,000 to students to cover bonfire injuries not covered by other insurance policies.

The TAMU Aggie Bonfire Accident Medical Policy applies to injuries, deaths and dismemberments stemming from the annual fall event. A&M officials were unable Friday to provide details about the cost or number and type of claims filed against the policy.

_ Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

Text accompanying drawings showing how the bonfire is built was not provided electronically. Please see microflim.

Источник: https://www.tampabay.com/archive/1999/11/20/texas-a-m-vows-study-of-fatal-bonfire-collapse/

In the early morning hours of Nov. 18, 1999, a long-standing tradition at Texas A&M University led to the death of 12 students.

Since 1907, according to the university, “the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Bonfire symbolized every Aggie’s ‘burning desire’ to beat the University of Texas in football. Attracting between 30,000 and 70,000 people each year to watch it burn, Bonfire became a symbol of the deep and unique camaraderie that is the Aggie Spirit.”

The bonfire, according to the school, burned every year except 1963 when it was torn down in tribute to President John F. Kennedy, who was assassinated that year on Nov. 22.

It also did not burn in 1999.

BONFIRE

The stack of about 5,000 logs collapsed while it was being constructed by 58 students.

It took more than 24 hours to rescue the students. The logs were removed by hand out of fear that using equipment would cause further collapse.

On the day the bonfire would have burned, Nov. 25, a remembrance ceremony was held instead. In attendance were former President George H.W. Bush and his wife, Barbara, Texas Gov. George W. Bush and his wife, Laura.

On Nov. 26, 1999, the Aggies beat the Texas Longhorns, 20-16.

TEXAS A&M STUDENTS BONFIRE

The cause of the collapse was determined to be “excessive internal stresses” on the logs and “inadequate containment strength” in the wiring used to bind the logs together.

A memorial was dedicated on the site of the collapse on the five-year anniversary.

According to the university, the “Spirit Ring” can be accessed through 12 portals – one for each student who died in the collapse. Each portal is 16 feet tall with an interior bronze portal that is 12 feet tall. Each of the portals in the circle are on a line from the center in the direction of the hometown of the student. The bronze interior portals are each engraved with the student’s portrait, signature and a written reflection.

BONFIRE

The students who died were:

Miranda D. Adams, Christopher D. Breen, Michael S. Ebanks, Jeremy R. Frampton, Jamie L. Hand, Christopher L. Heard, Timothy D. Kerlee Jr., Lucas J. Kimmel, Bryan A. McClain, Chad A. Powell, Jerry D. Self and Nathan S. West.

Another 27 students were injured.

BONFIRE MEMEORIAL
Источник: https://www.pennlive.com/life/2019/11/remembering-the-tragedy-at-texas-am-20th-anniversary-of-the-bonfire-collapse.html

A&M's Fisher Pays Respect for Bonfire Tragedy During Press Conference

COLLEGE STATION - On November 18, 1999, tragedy struck College Station. Just as any typical year, Texas A&M was constructing the bonfire for their annual bonfire. 

It's a tradition that been a part of the college's culture for generations as nearly 5,000 logs were piled high to create a 59-foot structure. That season, the fire would never burn. At 2:42 a.m., the structure collapsed, and of the 58 people working on the structure, 12 were killed and 27 were injured.

Two decades later, Aggies still come together to honor those who lost their lives at the time of the collapse. While the fire may no longer burn, the memories have yet to fade among the Aggie community. 

Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher addressed the incident Monday during his weekly press conference, taking the time to pay respect for those who lost their lives and the families affected by it. 

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"It was a tremendous tragedy that happened to this family and everyone involved," Fisher said. "It's one of the great traditions of history at A&M and it was amazing this morning. There were over 1,000 people at the bonfire memorial, which is a tremendous tribute and typical of the A&M family and the people." 

Texas A&M will face No.4 Georgia in Athens, Ga. at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 23. The game will be nationally televised on CBS Sports as the SEC Game of the Week. 

Источник: /college/tamu/

Remembering the victims of the Texas A&M bonfire collapse 20 years ago

20 years after the deadly Texas A&M bonfire collapse

Aggies gathered at the Bonfire Memorial on the campus of Texas A&M University on Monday, Nov. 18 at 2:42 a.m. to honor the victims of the bonfire collapse 20 years ago.

COLLEGE STATION, Texas - Hundreds of people, including cadets in full uniform, lined the Spirit Wall of Texas A&M’s Bonfire Memorial in the pre-dawn hours of Monday morning.

Their candles provided the only light falling on the field where the 1999 bonfire collapse claimed 12 lives and injured 27 others.

President Michael Young spoke, and attendees sung “The Spirit of Aggieland” during the remembrance ceremony which started at 2:42 a.m., the approximate time the collapse happened.

Many students in attendance were too young to remember the collapse but demonstrated through their presence that they are old enough to understand the importance of honoring those lost. 

But David Morefield from A&M’s class of 2000 witnessed the tragedy firsthand.

He says several of his bandmates did not come out to the 1999 bonfire; they were ineligible because of their grades.

But Morefield never got the message to stay home, and ended up watching seven of his friends get killed. 

“Everybody has come up and started to talk to me about it because it’s the 20th anniversary,” he says. “I’ve had no choice but to confront it, so I decided to come out here this year.”

During the ceremony, all 12 names of those lost were called out, with the audience responding “here” after each one. 

John Comstock, an unexpected survivor, was the last pulled from the rubble after the collapse.

“I was on top of the third tier when the whole structure swayed and the whole thing went down,” he says.

He was pinned underneath and was dubbed “the 13th man” when officials didn’t expect him to survive.

But he did hear words of encouragement during the seven and a half hours of being trapped. 

“I had a log come across my waist, and I had a log on my head as well,” recalls Comstock.

The documentary “The 13th Man,” released in early November, is based on his experience which he hopes helps others heal from the tragedy. Still, some want people to learn from what happened.

The bonfire was being constructed as part of an Aggie tradition ahead of the annual rivalry game against the University of Texas. It’s a tradition that Morefield says belongs in the past.

“I’m kind of glad to see that it’s not continued at the university,” he says. “Students are going to do what they’re going to do, but after being out here for what happened I would prefer to keep the memory of my friends and why they loved it, and let it go.” 

Like many at the ceremony, he’s taking comfort in remembering without expecting his 20-year-old wounds to heal. 

Although, some students reportedly continue to hold small-scale bonfires, Texas A&M has replaced the tradition with acts of service.

BUILD, a student organization, converts shipping containers into mobile medical clinics, naming the worldwide centers after those who died in the collapse.

Over the past two decades, the student-run Aggie Replant, has planted well over 52,000 trees and pine seedlings in Texas.

Источник: https://www.fox26houston.com/news/remembering-the-victims-of-the-texas-am-bonfire-collapse-20-years-ago

Texas A&M vows study of fatal bonfire collapse

While parents and students continued to grieve Friday, Texas A&M University officials promised a thorough and impartial investigation into the deadly collapse of the Aggie bonfire, which claimed its 12th victim Friday.

"Our ideas are just forming," said university President Ray Bowen, referring to A&M's plans for the investigation. "We need to create an inventory of the criteria that go into the creation of bonfire."

The school's towering bonfire, composed of an estimated 8,000 logs wired and stacked 40 feet high, crashed to the ground Thursday morning.

Tim Kerlee Jr., a freshman from Bartlett, Tenn., died Friday, bringing the death toll to 12: 11 students and a recent graduate. In addition, 28 people were injured. Four remained in critical condition Friday, two of them on life support.

The body of the last victim was removed from the pile of fallen timbers at 2:12 a.m. Friday. The jumble of logs was completely dismantled by volunteer crews by 3:25 a.m., "about 24 hours to the minute" after the logs thundered to earth, Bowen said. Now, the first priority is "to make sure that this horror never visits this campus again," he said.

With funeral arrangements and hospital recoveries in progress, it would be premature to talk about the legal liability of the university, he added.

"Regrettably, in our society, in everything we do, you have to worry about a lawsuit," Bowen said.

The investigation will involve "local expertise" and non-university assistance, Bowen said. He declined to elaborate.

A number of large engineering firms have approached A&M to offer expertise in unraveling the mystery of the bonfire's collapse, university officials said.

The pattern of the inquiry, including what agencies might lead the investigation, will emerge "in the carolina alliance bank business login that we hope will emerge in the next few days," Bowen said.

In Austin, Lt. Gov. Rick Perry and other Senate leaders said they have no plans to seek an independent inquiry.

Former President George Bush, whose presidential library is on the A&M campus, had a short answer Friday when asked if bonfire should continue next year.

"Absolutely," said Bush, who was visiting the A&M campus to deliver a speech. "There's no way to express the emotion that the Bush family feels about this."

For most of Friday, campus officials and local law enforcement officials worked to secure the perimeter of the bonfire tragedy.

Rusty Thompson, a university adviser to the student crews that build bonfire, said "a blueprint as such doesn't exist" for the stack's construction. It was a matter of students teaching "the next generation of students" in an "on-the-job learning experience," he said.

A&M administrators said Friday that student supervisors diligently train and oversee younger bonfire workers to ensure safety, with the result that the number of students needing medical attention for bonfire-related injuries has declined in the last decade. They could not provide any statistics.

axis bank mutual fund online login In the late 1980s, between 55 and 85 students a year typically were treated at the campus health center for injuries suffered while constructing the pyre, said William Kibler, Midwest community bank locations associate vice president for student affairs. He said the injuries ranged from minor to severe. About 5,000 students participate each year in building the bonfire, A&M officials estimated.

On Friday, an orange plastic mesh fence replaced the yellow police tape that had encircled the city-block-size accident site. A smaller fence inside that perimeter encircled the spot where the logs once stood.

A&M freshman Paul Alexander Jones, a survivor of the collapse, returned to the scene Friday.

"I saw people get squashed in it and it fall on people," said Jones of Marshall, Texas. In a calm voice, his face an emotional blank, he added, "I saw the white faces of complete terror in the brief second or two that it was falling."

Some rescue workers who responded to the collapse described what they found.

Bart Humphreys, a spokesman for the College Station Fire Department, said the bonfire's center pole _ two pine telephone poles spliced together _ had been broken into three pieces. He said the spliced part had held together.

It was impossible texas a and m bonfire tell whether the broken center pole was the cause of the accident or whether it resulted from the accident or from cleanup efforts, he said.

At St. Joseph Regional Health Center, where many families were holding vigil, at least one seriously injured student was insisting that the 90-year-old bonfire tradition should be continued.

When the parents of engineering student Chad Hutchinson of Houston arrived at their son's bedside, he told them that he wanted the bonfire to burn, they said.

Hutchinson, who hurtled 50 feet to the ground as the stack collapsed, was originally listed in critical condition.

Cheryl Davis, mother of critically injured business major William Davis of Bellaire, a Houston suburb, recalled talking with her son before he began work on the bonfire two weeks ago.

"What if you get hurt?" she said she asked him.

She said her son, a 20-year-old sophomore, replied: "Mom, no one ever gets hurt."

Davis is recuperating from a punctured lung, liver bruise, fractured facial bones, an elbow shattered in 25 pieces and a fractured pelvis.

Mrs. Davis said she chose not to tell him that some of his bonfire "partners" had passed away.

Her son's doctor, St. Joseph surgeon Frank Castro, said anyone who survived the tragedy was lucky to be alive.

"I've seen a number of logging injuries in Louisiana, and they are always terrible," Castro said. "They are not good injuries to have. He is exceptionally fortunate to have survived."

The prognosis for Davis is guarded but good. "I fully expect William to walk out of the hospital," Castro texas a and m bonfire A university insurance policy offers up to $5,000 to students to cover bonfire injuries not covered by other insurance policies.

The TAMU Aggie Bonfire Accident Medical Policy applies to injuries, deaths and dismemberments stemming from the annual fall event. A&M officials were unable Friday to provide details about the cost or number and type of claims filed against the policy.

_ Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

Text accompanying drawings showing how the bonfire is built was not provided electronically. Please see microflim.

Источник: https://www.tampabay.com/archive/1999/11/20/texas-a-m-vows-study-of-fatal-bonfire-collapse/

‘13th Man’ tells story of A&M bonfire survivor

Minn offers a little background for those unaware of the bonfire tradition. Historian Dan Quinn suggests humble beginnings in the film: “It’s an all male semi-military school in the middle of nowhere at the turn of the century: There’s not a lot to do, so the guys threw some rubbish into a pile and set it on fire.”

ON HOUSTONCHRONICLE.COM:Texas A&M bonfire collapse still a scar for Aggies everywhere

Unrated

Running time: 108 minutes

Where: Premiere Greenspoint 15, Houston; Showbiz Cinemas, Kingwood; Studio Movie Grill, Pearland; Webster NASA Premiere 8, Webster; The Grand, Conroe; Cinestar Cinema, Huntsville; Westwood Cinema, Brenham

**½ (out of 5)

The trash fire became an engineering feat. At its peak, texas a and m bonfire stack set a Guinness record at 109 feet.

Footage of the students dotted along the side of the stack makes for a startling sight. One survivor was about 45 feet up at around 2:45 in the morning on Nov. 19, 1999 when he noticed the ground moving.

Minn then shifts his narrative toward some of the students buried in the stack, including Tim Kerlee, whose internal injuries would prove fatal, yet who directed rescue efforts to other students inside the stack of logs. Comstock’s rescue took over seven hours. He underwent multiple surgeries and didn’t leave the hospital until April 2000.

Minn threw a wide net, but he doesn’t find an efficient way to edit it into a fluid story. A few talking heads on the story’s periphery don’t offer any real insight into the tragedy or the aftermath. The film at times feels like a TV doc forced into a longer format.

Still, there are moments that resonate beautifully for viewers outside the A&M culture, including halftime scenes from the A&M/University of Texas game eight days after the accident, and footage of students years later carrying candles to the memorial that stands at the site of the accident.

[email protected]

twitter.com/andrewdansby

PREVIEW: Get experts’ picks for concerts, kids’ stuff, fine arts, movies and more delivered to your inboxweekly.

Источник: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/entertainment/movies_tv/article/13th-Man-tells-story-of-A-M-bonfire-survivor-14825811.php

21 years later, pain of Aggie Bonfire collapse remains

COLLEGE STATION, Texas (KTRK) -- Hundreds gathered on the campus of Texas A&M University early Wednesday to remember the 12 people who died when Aggie Bonfire collapsed 21 years ago.

The tradition of Aggie Bonfire burned for more than 90 years, but that all changed on Nov. 18, 1999, when the bonfire structure collapsed, killing 11 students, one former student, and injuring 27 others.

It happened in the middle of the night, at 2:42 a.m.

A ceremony was held Wednesday morning to mark that exact moment. Students were asked to wear masks and maintain their distance at the Bonfire Memorial, which was built on the site of the collapse.

SEE ALSO: 20th anniversary of the Aggie bonfire tragedy

WATCH: Complete Aggie Bonfire remembrance ceremony


In 1999, fifty-seven Aggies were building the stack of logs that were to be burned when someone heard a crack, and it collapsed.

First responders from across the region responded to the scene. As the sun came up that day, even the Aggie football team showed up to help move logs.

Here is a list of the fallen Aggies:

Miranda Denise Adams
Santa Fe, Texas
Sophomore
Biomedical Science Major
'02

Christopher D. Breen
Austin, Texas
Graduate
'96

Michael Stephen Ebanks
Carrollton, TX
Freshman
Aerospace Engineering Major
'03

Jeremy Richard Frampton
Turlock, CA
Senior
Psychology Major
'99
Company D-1

Jamie Lynn Hand
Henderson, TX
Freshman
Environmental Design Major
'03

Christopher Lee Heard
Houston, TX
Freshman
Pre Engineering Major
Company K-2
'03

Timothy Doran Kerlee, Jr
Bartlett, TN
Sophomore
Mechanical Engineering Major
Squadron 16
'03

Lucas John Kimmel
Corpus Christi, TX
Freshman
Biomed. Science Major
Company D-2
'03

Bryan A. McClain
San Antonio, TX
Freshman
Agriculture Major
Squadron 2
'02

Chad A. Powell
Keller, TX
Sophomore
Computer Engineering Major
'03

Jerry Don Self
Arlington, TX
Junior
Engineering Technology Major
Squadron 17
'01

Watch:Tom Abrahams, ABC13 reporter, reflects on covering the bonfire stack collapse.

Nathan Scott West
Bellaire, TX
Sophomore
Ocean Engineering Major
Company C-2
'02

Looking back at the Texas A&M Bonfire collapse 20 years later
Источник: https://abc13.com/bonfire-collapse-aggie-texas-am-aggies/8065792/

A long-standing tradition at Texas A&M, the Aggie Bonfire was built and burned as part of texas a and m bonfire school’s rivalry with the University of Texas at Austin. Over the years, the stack grew in size, and in 1999, it was so large that it collapsed during its construction, killing 12 people (eleven current students and one former student) and injuring 27 others. Tonight, on the finale of ABC News’ 20/20,  multiple witnesses and victims involved in the tragedy will discuss what happened in those early morning hours of November 18, and how their lives were forever changed by the event.

Read on to learn more about the infamous “Aggie Bonfire” south georgia state college pharmacy of 1999.


1. Twelve Students Were Killed During the Collapse

texas a&m aggie bonfire collapse of 1999, Aggie Bonfire collapse, Aggie Bonfire 1998, Texas A&M Bonfire

The first Aggie Bonfire was burned on November 18, 1907. (Youtube/Screenshot)

On November 18, 1999, at 2:42 am, the Aggie bonfire collapsed, killing 12 students and injuring 27 others. The stack was 59-feet high, and made up of about 5,000 logs. 58 students were working on assembling the fourth tier at the time, and over half of them were either injured or killed by its crash. The student-run first-responder service was the first to arrive at the site, and they administered first aid to as many students as possible. After the University Police were notified of the events, they requested aid from the state, and Texas’s elite emergency response team, Texas Task Force 1, arrived to assist. According to the USFA’s official report, the first person to call 911 reported that about thirty people were trapped under the logs after they came tumbling down. The report added, “The first firefighters to arrive at the incident were confronted with a scene eerily reminiscent of the children’s game of pick-up-sticks.”

Over 3,200 individuals worked together for nearly 24 hours to assist in the rescue, which was divided into three phrases according to the USFA. The first phase involved transporting as many victims as possible to the hospital; the second, extracting victims who were trapped in the stack. And the final phase involved removing the bodies of the deceased and “completely dismantling the bonfire stack.”


2. The Bonfire Is Held Off-Campus Today

texas a&m aggie bonfire collapse of 1999, Aggie Bonfire collapse, <b>Texas a and m bonfire</b> Bonfire 1998, Texas A&M Bonfire

The Aggie Bonfire is a long-standing tradition thats part of the schools rivalry with University of Texas at Austin. (Youtube/Screenshot)

After the bonfire collapsed, Texas A&M declared a hiatus on the tradition; in the wake of the tragedy, the entire school was shaken and mourning the loss of friends and fellow students. However, since 2002, an unsanctioned, off-campus “Student Bonfire” has texas a and m bonfire constructed by students in honor of the original bonfire.


3. The First Bonfire Was Burned in 1907

texas a&m aggie bonfire collapse of 1999, Aggie Bonfire collapse, Aggie Bonfire 1998, Texas A&M Bonfire

In 1999, the bonfire collapse killed twelve people, eleven of whom were current students. (Youtube/Screenshot)

The first Aggie bonfire was burned in 1907 to congratulate the school’s football team on their recent win. Then, in 1909, the bonfire was moved to be on-campus. It took a decade before the event revolved narrowly around the annual rivalry game between Texas A&M and the University of Texas. Traditionally, freshman were expected to build the bonfire to “prove their worth&rdquo.


4. Between 30,000 and 70,000 Came Annually to Watch It Burn

Each year, the bonfire lighting attracted between 30,000 and 70,000 observers– who came together to honor the rivalry between the two schools. The Texas A&M website writes, the bonfire “…became a symbol of the deep and unique camaraderie that is the Aggie Spirit.”

During the lighting ceremony, students would play “The Spirit of the Aggieland” by the school band, and a reading of “The Last Corps Trip” poem. Why was burned in the first place, though? Well, “…Aggie lore has it that if the Bonfire stood until after midnight, they would win the game.”


5. There Are Two Times the Bonfire Has Not Burned

The first time the bonfire did not burn was in 1963, in honor of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. It was built, but torn down in tribute to the late president. Texas A&M Head Yell Leader Mike Marlowe said, “It is the most we have and the least we can give.” The second time the bonfire was not lit was in November 18 of 1999, when it collapsed texas a and m bonfire killed twelve students.


Источник: https://heavy.com/news/2016/07/texas-am-aggie-bonfire-collapse-1999-abc-news-2020-in-an-instant/

How many people died in the Texas A&M bonfire collapse?

Published by Charlie Davidson on

How many people died in the Texas A&M bonfire collapse?

The tradition of Aggie Bonfire burned for more than 90 years, but that all changed on Nov. 18, 1999, when the bonfire structure collapsed, killing 11 students, one former student, and injuring 27 others. It happened in the middle of the night, at 2:42 a.m.

Why did the Texas A&M bonfire collapse?

A commission created by Texas A&M University discovered that a number of factors led to the bonfire collapse, including “excessive internal stresses” on the logs and “inadequate containment strength” in the wiring used to tie the logs together.

Do they still do the Texas A&M Bonfire?

A&M no longer hosts Bonfire, but some students each fall still participate in the construction of a smaller structure off-campus.

How big was the Texas A&M Bonfire?

This allowed Bonfire to grow from 25 feet (8 m) tall to over 50 feet (20 m) tall. Subsequent Aggies adopted the new idea, and the teepee design became standard for Bonfires for the next twenty-five years.

Who died in the Bonfire collapse?

18, 1999: Bonfire collapsed at 2:42 a.m., killing 12 Aggies: Christopher David Breen of Austin; Christopher Lee Heard of Houston; Miranda Denise Adams of Santa Fe, Texas; Jerry Don Self of Arlington; Michael Stephen Ebanks of Carrollton; Bryan Allan McClain of San Antonio; Jamie Lynn Hand of Henderson; Lucas John …

When was the Aggie Bonfire collapse?

November 18, 19991999 Aggie Bonfire collapse / Start date

Can you walk on the grass at Texas A&M?

Every Aggie has a home away from home in the Memorial Student Center, Texas A&M’s student union. However, this facility is unique because it is also a memorial. Those walking outside are asked not to walk on the grass outside surrounding the facility, also as a sign of respect to fallen Aggies.

When was the last Bonfire at Texas A&M?

Attracting between 30,000 and 70,000 people each year to watch it burn, Bonfire became a symbol of the deep and unique camaraderie that is the Aggie Spirit. Bonfire burned each year through 1998, with the exception of 1963. That year Bonfire was built but torn down in a tribute to President John F.

Where is the Texas A&M Bonfire Memorial?

polo fields
Situated on the polo fields of Texas A & M University, the Bonfire Memorial was texas a and m bonfire to memorialize twelve students who were killed when the structure being built for the university’s annual Bonfire collapsed in 1999.

What is the most important Aggie tradition?

According to the Houston Chronicle, “perhaps the best, most meaningful Aggie tradition of all is one you wish never happened.” While students at many schools prize their individuality, “Aggies are all about unity and loyalty.

What traditions does Texas A&M have?

While TAMUG students honor many of the traditions garnered from the main campus, they also uphold traditions which can only call the TAMUG campus home.

  • 12th Man. Aggie Ring. Anchor. Big Event. Bonfire.
  • Elephant Walk. Gig Em’ Howdy. Maritime Ball. Maroon Out.
  • Midnight Yell. TAMUG Yell Leaders. Muster. Reveille. Silver Taps.

When did the Aggie Bonfire collapse?

Источник: https://www.pursuantmedia.com/2021/02/01/how-many-people-died-in-the-texas-aampm-bonfire-collapse/

In the early morning hours of Nov. 18, 1999, a long-standing tradition at Texas A&M University led to the death of 12 students.

Since 1907, according to the university, “the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Bonfire symbolized every Aggie’s ‘burning desire’ to beat the University of Texas in football. Attracting between 30,000 and 70,000 people each year to watch it burn, Bonfire became a symbol of the deep and unique camaraderie that is the Aggie Spirit.”

The bonfire, according to the school, burned every year except 1963 when it was torn down in tribute to President John F. Kennedy, who was assassinated that year on Nov. 22.

It also did not burn in 1999.

BONFIRE

The stack of about 5,000 logs collapsed while it was being constructed by 58 students.

It took more than 24 hours to rescue the students. The logs were removed by hand out of fear that using equipment would cause further collapse.

On the day the bonfire would have burned, Nov. 25, a remembrance ceremony was held instead. In attendance were former President George H.W. Bush and his wife, Barbara, Texas Gov. George W. Bush and his wife, Laura.

On Nov. 26, 1999, the Aggies beat the Texas Longhorns, 20-16.

TEXAS A&M STUDENTS BONFIRE

The cause of the collapse was determined to be “excessive internal stresses” on the logs and “inadequate containment strength” in the wiring used to bind the logs together.

A memorial was dedicated on texas a and m bonfire site of the collapse on the five-year anniversary.

According to the university, the “Spirit Ring” can be accessed through 12 portals – one for each student who died in the collapse. Each portal is 16 feet tall with an interior bronze portal that is 12 feet tall. Each of texas a and m bonfire portals in the circle are on a line from the center in the direction of the hometown of the student. The bronze interior portals are each engraved with the student’s portrait, signature and a written reflection.

BONFIRE

The students who died were:

Miranda D. Adams, Christopher D. Breen, Michael S. Ebanks, Jeremy R. Frampton, Jamie L. Hand, Christopher L. Heard, Timothy D. Kerlee Jr., Lucas J. Kimmel, Bryan A. McClain, Chad A. Powell, Jerry D. Self and Nathan S. West.

Another 27 students were injured.

BONFIRE MEMEORIAL
Источник: https://www.pennlive.com/life/2019/11/remembering-the-tragedy-at-texas-am-20th-anniversary-of-the-bonfire-collapse.html

Texas a and m bonfire -

21 years later, pain of Aggie Bonfire collapse remains

COLLEGE STATION, Texas (KTRK) -- Hundreds gathered on the campus of Texas A&M University early Wednesday to remember the 12 people who died when Aggie Bonfire collapsed 21 years ago.

The tradition of Aggie Bonfire burned for more than 90 years, but that all changed on Nov. 18, 1999, when the bonfire structure collapsed, killing 11 students, one former student, and injuring 27 others.

It happened in the middle of the night, at 2:42 a.m.

A ceremony was held Wednesday morning to mark that exact moment. Students were asked to wear masks and maintain their distance at the Bonfire Memorial, which was built on the site of the collapse.

SEE ALSO: 20th anniversary of the Aggie bonfire tragedy

WATCH: Complete Aggie Bonfire remembrance ceremony


In 1999, fifty-seven Aggies were building the stack of logs that were to be burned when someone heard a crack, and it collapsed.

First responders from across the region responded to the scene. As the sun came up that day, even the Aggie football team showed up to help move logs.

Here is a list of the fallen Aggies:

Miranda Denise Adams
Santa Fe, Texas
Sophomore
Biomedical Science Major
'02

Christopher D. Breen
Austin, Texas
Graduate
'96

Michael Stephen Ebanks
Carrollton, TX
Freshman
Aerospace Engineering Major
'03

Jeremy Richard Frampton
Turlock, CA
Senior
Psychology Major
'99
Company D-1

Jamie Lynn Hand
Henderson, TX
Freshman
Environmental Design Major
'03

Christopher Lee Heard
Houston, TX
Freshman
Pre Engineering Major
Company K-2
'03

Timothy Doran Kerlee, Jr
Bartlett, TN
Sophomore
Mechanical Engineering Major
Squadron 16
'03

Lucas John Kimmel
Corpus Christi, TX
Freshman
Biomed. Science Major
Company D-2
'03

Bryan A. McClain
San Antonio, TX
Freshman
Agriculture Major
Squadron 2
'02

Chad A. Powell
Keller, TX
Sophomore
Computer Engineering Major
'03

Jerry Don Self
Arlington, TX
Junior
Engineering Technology Major
Squadron 17
'01

Watch:Tom Abrahams, ABC13 reporter, reflects on covering the bonfire stack collapse.

Nathan Scott West
Bellaire, TX
Sophomore
Ocean Engineering Major
Company C-2
'02

Looking back at the Texas A&M Bonfire collapse 20 years later
Источник: https://abc13.com/bonfire-collapse-aggie-texas-am-aggies/8065792/

We Remember: The History and Tragedy of the Texas A&M Bonfire

The Texas A&M Bonfire is remembered by the Aggie family every year on the 18th of November for it’s rich history and tragic collapse.

Early in the morning of November 18th, 1999 the Aggie family experienced the worst tragedy to ever occur on the campus of Texas A&M. At 2:42 AM, as dozens of Aggies scurried about the stack, the entire structure came tumbling down. Of the 58 students that were working on the grounds at that time, 27 of them were injured and 12 of them were killed.

Bonfire burned for the first time in 1907 as a symbol of the Aggies “burning desire” to beat the hell outta the University of Texas on the football field. It burned every year before the Aggies played Texas until 1963. Out of respect for President John F. Kennedy, the stack was disassembled following his assassination on November 22nd, 1963.

In October of 2003, work began on the construction of the Bonfire Memorial. The memorial was dedicated on November 18th, 2004. It stands today as a reminder and encouragement of the ever-present Spirit of Aggieland.

On this day, even 17 years later, we Aggies stop to remember the lives of those 12 individuals that lost their lives on that day.

Howdy: Write for the Gig'Em Gazette

Remembering the 12 fallen Aggies

Bonfire was cancelled following its collapse in 1999, but the Spirit lived on. In 2002, students built and burned the first “unofficial” bonfire. The following year, in 2003, the Student Bonfire organization was founded.

Student Bonfire has been using the same design since it was founded in 2003, resulting in a stack less than half the size of those from the 1960’s. Many students have pushed for the return of bonfire to the Texas A&M campus, but currently it burns off-site, with obvious hesitation to return it to the university. Student Bonfire draws more than 10,000 Aggies every year, even attracting 12,000 in 2013 when it was postponed due to flooding.

***Special thanks to Scott Eden and Texas A&M for source information***

Источник: https://gigemgazette.com/2016/11/18/texas-remember-aggie-bonfire/

‘13th Man’ tells story of A&M bonfire survivor

Minn offers a little background for those unaware of the bonfire tradition. Historian Dan Quinn suggests humble beginnings in the film: “It’s an all male semi-military school in the middle of nowhere at the turn of the century: There’s not a lot to do, so the guys threw some rubbish into a pile and set it on fire.”

ON HOUSTONCHRONICLE.COM:Texas A&M bonfire collapse still a scar for Aggies everywhere

Unrated

Running time: 108 minutes

Where: Premiere Greenspoint 15, Houston; Showbiz Cinemas, Kingwood; Studio Movie Grill, Pearland; Webster NASA Premiere 8, Webster; The Grand, Conroe; Cinestar Cinema, Huntsville; Westwood Cinema, Brenham

**½ (out of 5)

The trash fire became an engineering feat. At its peak, the stack set a Guinness record at 109 feet.

Footage of the students dotted along the side of the stack makes for a startling sight. One survivor was about 45 feet up at around 2:45 in the morning on Nov. 19, 1999 when he noticed the ground moving.

Minn then shifts his narrative toward some of the students buried in the stack, including Tim Kerlee, whose internal injuries would prove fatal, yet who directed rescue efforts to other students inside the stack of logs. Comstock’s rescue took over seven hours. He underwent multiple surgeries and didn’t leave the hospital until April 2000.

Minn threw a wide net, but he doesn’t find an efficient way to edit it into a fluid story. A few talking heads on the story’s periphery don’t offer any real insight into the tragedy or the aftermath. The film at times feels like a TV doc forced into a longer format.

Still, there are moments that resonate beautifully for viewers outside the A&M culture, including halftime scenes from the A&M/University of Texas game eight days after the accident, and footage of students years later carrying candles to the memorial that stands at the site of the accident.

[email protected]

twitter.com/andrewdansby

PREVIEW: Get experts’ picks for concerts, kids’ stuff, fine arts, movies and more delivered to your inboxweekly.

Источник: https://www.houstonchronicle.com/entertainment/movies_tv/article/13th-Man-tells-story-of-A-M-bonfire-survivor-14825811.php

A&M's Fisher Pays Respect for Bonfire Tragedy During Press Conference

COLLEGE STATION - On November 18, 1999, tragedy struck College Station. Just as any typical year, Texas A&M was constructing the bonfire for their annual bonfire. 

It's a tradition that been a part of the college's culture for generations as nearly 5,000 logs were piled high to create a 59-foot structure. That season, the fire would never burn. At 2:42 a.m., the structure collapsed, and of the 58 people working on the structure, 12 were killed and 27 were injured.

Two decades later, Aggies still come together to honor those who lost their lives at the time of the collapse. While the fire may no longer burn, the memories have yet to fade among the Aggie community. 

Texas A&M coach Jimbo Fisher addressed the incident Monday during his weekly press conference, taking the time to pay respect for those who lost their lives and the families affected by it. 

Recommended Articles

"It was a tremendous tragedy that happened to this family and everyone involved," Fisher said. "It's one of the great traditions of history at A&M and it was amazing this morning. There were over 1,000 people at the bonfire memorial, which is a tremendous tribute and typical of the A&M family and the people." 

Texas A&M will face No.4 Georgia in Athens, Ga. at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 23. The game will be nationally televised on CBS Sports as the SEC Game of the Week. 

Источник: /college/tamu/

Aggie Bonfire

Former tradition at Texas A&M University

Aggie Bonfire as it burned in 1989

The Aggie Bonfire was a long-standing annual tradition at Texas A&M University as part of the college rivalry with the University of Texas at Austin.[1][2] For 90 years, Texas A&M students—known as Aggies—built a bonfire on campus each autumn, known to the Aggie community simply as "Bonfire". The event symbolized Aggie students' "burning desire to beat the hell outta t.u.", a derogatory nickname for the University of Texas.[3]

The bonfire was traditionally lit around Thanksgiving in conjunction with festivities surrounding the annual football game. Early bonfires were little more than piles of trash, but the event gradually became more organized and eventually grew to an immense size, setting the world record in 1969. In 1999, the Bonfire collapsed during construction, killing 11 students and one former student and injuring 27 others. The accident led Texas A&M to declare a hiatus on an official Bonfire. However, since 2002, a student-sponsored coalition has constructed an annual unsanctioned, off-campus "Student Bonfire" in the spirit of its predecessor.

Early years[edit]

The Aggie Bonfire in 1928, pictured on the Drill Field with the Academic Building in the background.

The students of the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas, known as Aggies, burned their first bonfire on November 18, 1907, to congratulate the football team on a recent win.[4] The first on-campus Aggie Bonfire, a heap of trash and debris, was burned in 1909 to generate enthusiasm for a variety of sporting events. A decade later, the focus of the event narrowed to the annual rivalry game between Texas A&M and the University of Texas, held near Thanksgiving Day.[5] Little information was recorded about the early Bonfires; the 1921 Texas A&M yearbook mentioned the "final rally" of the students before the game against Texas, but did not refer to a bonfire. Six years later, the school yearbook published a photograph of the event.[3]

Freshmen were expected to build the early Bonfires to help prove their worth.[3] For almost two decades, the students constructed Bonfire from debris and wood acquired through various, sometimes illicit, means, including appropriating lumber intended for a dormitory in 1912.[6] In 1935, a farmer reported that students carried off his entire barn as fuel for Bonfire. To prevent future incidents, the university made Bonfire a school-sanctioned event. The following year, for the first time, the school provided axes, saws, and trucks for the students and pointed them toward a grove of dead trees on the edge of town.[5]

During the 1940s, the school paper described Bonfire as "the greatest event of the football season".[3] The 1947 Corps handbook stated that "bonfire symbolizes two things: a burning desire to beat the team from the University of Texas, and the undying flame of love that every loyal Aggie carries in his heart for the school"; this was often shortened to "the burning desire to beat the hell out of t.u."[3][2] The Bonfire design changed in 1942. Universal Studios, filming the movie We've Never Been Licked on the Texas A&M Campus, built a bonfire as a prop for the movie. Their structure used a design similar to a teepee, where all the logs rested against each other in a conical shape.[3] The logs were placed at an angle between 23 and 30 degrees, giving it "a tremendous vertical and horizontal resistance".[7] This allowed Bonfire to grow from 25 feet (8 m) tall to over 50 feet (20 m) tall.[6] Subsequent Aggies adopted the new idea, and the teepee design became standard for Bonfires for the next twenty-five years.[3]

An Aggie Bonfire under construction in the late 1950s

Beginning in 1952, the bonfires were constructed entirely from fresh-cut logs.[3] The event suffered its first fatality in 1955, when a student was struck by a swerving car.[5] For unrelated reasons, that same year the Bonfire was moved from Simpson Drill Field in front of the Memorial Student Center to Duncan Field, near the dorms of the Corps of Cadets (whose leaders oversaw construction). In 1957, the structure collapsed two days before Bonfire was to be held, but students worked around-the-clock to rebuild it, and the bonfire burned as scheduled.[8]

During this period, University of Texas students attempted several stunts, trying to light the stack early, but to no avail. In both 1933 and 1948, students from UT rented an airplane and tried to drop fire bombs onto the stack. In one of these instances, the plane ran low on fuel, and was forced to land at Easterwood Airport in College Station—the wooden portions of the plane found themselves part of Bonfire that year.[9] In 1956, there was an unsuccessful attempt to plant explosives at the Bonfire site,[8] and, in the late 1970s, a College Station police officer was fired after trying to ignite the bonfire several days ahead of schedule. Students spotted the officer before he could succeed and chased him across campus.[5] In 1999, a Longhorn fan hired someone to build a six-foot model airplane designed to carry a bomb into the wood stack to ignite it prematurely. "He was actually in the process of building that plane when they had the tragedy at bonfire", Mel Stekoll said. "At that point, we scrapped the plan. It would have been the next year that we planned to try it."[10]

Organizational change and expansion[edit]

Further information: Aggie Bonfire leadership

In 1965, membership in the Corps of Cadets became voluntary for students at Texas A&M. Before, Corps leaders directed construction of Bonfire. However, because the Corps had no authority over the "non-regs", or civilian students, a separate Bonfire leadership structure was instituted. The new leaders were designated with colored hard hats, or pots, with the overall leaders known as redpots.[3]

The first Bonfire built with both Corps and non-reg participation was in 1963.[11] The stack was scheduled to burn only days after the assassination of PresidentJohn F. Kennedy. Out of respect, the students dismantled the stack.[5] As Head Yell Leader Mike Marlowe explained, "It is the most we have and the least we can give."[11]

In the following years the structure became more elaborate, and in 1967 the flames could be seen 25 miles (40 km) away. In 1969, the stack of logs set the world record for the height of a bonfire at 109 ft 10 in (33 m) tall.[5][12] Out of concern for the safety of participants and the community, the university limited the size to 55 feet (17 m) tall and 45 feet (14 m) in diameter.[6] As an added precaution, nearby campus buildings were equipped with rooftop sprinkler systems. Despite the new height restrictions, in the 1970s, the Guinness Book of Records listed Aggie Bonfire as the largest Bonfire in the world.[5]

Design change[edit]

Stage Description Length Approx. start
Cut / load Trees cut down, logs loaded by hand onto trucks and unloaded on campus 4 weeks October
Stack Logs wired into place against the center pole 3 weeks Early November
Push 24/7 effort to finish the first four levels 10 days Last 10 days of Stack
Finish Redpots build the final two levels. 1 day Day before Burn
Burn The stack is doused with jet fuel and lit on fire. 1 day 1 or 2 nights before the football game versus Texas

In 1978, Bonfire shifted from its previous teepee design to a wedding cake style, in which upper stacks of logs were wedged on top of lower stacks. The structure was built around a fortified center pole, made from two telephone poles spliced together by cutting matching notches, approximately 10 feet (3 m) long, and with 5 US gallons (19 L) of glue. Four steel plates were bolted to the two poles, and a 3⁄8 inch (9.5 mm) cable wrapped around the joint and secured to the pole with steel staples. Four perimeter poles were placed 150 feet (46 m) away and ropes were stretched between the perimeter poles to center poles and tension placed on them to hold the center pole together. After the center pole was erected, logs were placed vertically around it in a multi-tiered wedding cake design composed of thousands of logs.[8] By 1984, the logs were sloping only 14 degrees.[7] The spiral arrangement of the logs was designed to make Bonfire collapse into itself in a twisting motion, thus protecting spectators.[8] Although the tradition stated that if Bonfire burned through midnight then A&M would win the following day's football game, the introduction of the wedding cake design drastically reduced the time it took for Bonfire to fall, sometimes burning for only 30 or 45 minutes.[7]

Despite the complexity of the design, there were no formal written instructions or architectural blueprints for the construction of Bonfire. Knowledge on how to build the structure was passed verbally from one redpot to the next. By 1999, the only written documentation on the building of Bonfire was the rough schematic printed on the back of the official Bonfire T-shirt worn by participants from the freshman honors dormitory, Lechner.[13]

While the Bonfires of the 1960s were constructed in five to ten days, working primarily in daylight, by the late 1970s, changes in the school led to a more elaborate and lengthy construction schedule.[3] Construction began in late October with "Cut", obtaining wood by cutting down trees with axes, which took several weekends.[3][8] After Cut, students brought the logs to campus during "Load", a process by which the logs were loaded by hand onto flatbed trucks and brought to campus.[8] In early November, crews began "Stack", a three-week period in which the logs were wired together and Bonfire took shape. Near the end of stack, known as "Push", students worked around the clock in rotating shifts. The first four of the six stacks were built with the efforts of all safety-trained participants. The day before Bonfire was scheduled to burn, junior redpots would build the fifth stack, and then senior redpots would build the sixth.[8]

Yell Leaders and the Fightin' Texas Aggie Band follow the Redpots around the bonfire prior to Burn in 1992.

During Cut, all logs were felled by hand, with students working in teams to chop down each tree with their axes. The manual labor ensured that participants were invested in each log that went into the Bonfire. Once the trees had fallen, brownpots, the "executive lumberjacks", used chainsaws to cut limbs and prepare the logs.[13]

To ensure safety during the Stack period, the organizers maintained a perimeter around the working area, and allowed only safety-trained students through. Cranes, donated by local construction companies, assisted in getting logs onto the upper tiers, and volunteers from those companies were on-hand at all times to offer advice. Emergency medical technicians were also required to be on site at all times and no more than 70 students at a time were allowed on the stack.[8] Once the stack was finished, a burnt-orange outhouse with "t.u frat house" painted on the front was placed on top of the stack.[14][15][16]

Although between two and five thousand students participated in the construction of Bonfire each year, most worked only part-time, and many worked only one or two shifts.[3] Student workers were organized by dormitories or Corps units, with a separate off-campus student team. Many former students participated with teams they belonged to as students. Each team had assigned shifts, although individuals were not limited to working only the assigned shifts.[8] Students working on Bonfire wore "grodes"—old T-shirts, jeans, and boots. By tradition, grodes were either not washed until after Bonfire burned or not washed at all.[17]

In 1983, the city of College Station began manufacturing Austincity limits signs for students to place at the summit of the Bonfire so that students would stop stealing signs from Austin.[5] The Fightin' Texas Aggie Band began building the outhouse, ending the tradition of stealing Bonfire's components.[18]

Controversy[edit]

Student felling a tree for Bonfire

Although women were allowed to serve coffee and provide first aid in the late 1960s, in 1974 they were officially banned from both Cut and Stack. The ban was partially rescinded in 1979, when women were again allowed to participate in Cut, and completely rescinded in 1981. Few women participated in the early years, as female volunteers were subject to verbal abuse from their male counterparts.[3] In 1987, two female photographers from the school yearbook alleged that male workers shouted obscenities and threw dirt on them as they tried to take pictures of the raising of the center pole. The redpots responded that women were always welcome to participate as long as they did their share of the work, and that the photographers were standing dangerously close to the stack.[19] To find their own place in the Bonfire hierarchy, female students founded the all-female Bonfire Reload Crew to provide refreshments to those working at Cut and Stack.[20]

Injuries plagued the construction process. In 1981, student Wiley Keith Jopling died after being run over by a tractor at the Cut site.[21] At the 1985 Cut site, one student broke his hip,[18] and, in 1989, another student lost two fingers when logs crushed his hand.[22] Fractures and amputations were rare, but many students suffered cuts, scrapes, or exposure to poison ivy.[5][18]Hazing, including beatings with ax handles, was common.[13]

The 1980s also saw increased alcohol consumption during the Bonfire ceremony. In 1988, police issued 140 Minor in Possession (of alcohol) citations and arrested six people. The following year, the local police department brought a paddywagon to the site for the first time, as they anticipated mass arrests for alcohol violations.[22] As many as 150 police officers were on duty during the Bonfire burning from the Texas A&M and College Station police departments and the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission.[23]

In 1989, the Campus Ministry Association, representing 17 religious denominations, unanimously approved a resolution asking the university to change Bonfire because of concerns about safety, participant academic performance, humanitarian considerations, and the environment. Shortly afterwards, the Faculty Senate's Committee of the Whole approved a resolution asking for a panel to explore alternatives to Bonfire.[21]

Although students protested Bonfire's environmental impact since 1970, no changes were made for decades.[3] In 1990, student Scott Hantman asked the Bonfire leadership to help him address the problem. The group solicited volunteers, and in the spring of 1991, they planted 400 trees. The tradition, Aggie Replant, has been repeated annually. The Replant organization became independent of Bonfire in 1994 when it gained its own Student Government Committee.[24]

Later years[edit]

Students finishing the rebuild of the 1994 Bonfire[25]

After being held at the Duncan Intramural Fields on the south side of A&M's campus for twenty-seven years, in 1992, Bonfire was relocated to the Polo Fields on the northeast corner of campus. This more isolated site, with a larger area for people to gather, made it a safer location.[26] After heavy rains in 1994, the partially completed Bonfire began to slowly lean to the side as the soil underneath shifted. Student officials had enough warning to clear the area and tear down the Bonfire one week before its scheduled burn date.[5][20] Nine tractors, two bulldozers, and two forklifts dismantled the stack on October 26, 1994 (three weeks earlier than usual; the Aggies' game vs. Texas was moved from Thanksgiving weekend to the first weekend of November due to the NCAA's ban against Texas A&M from appearing on television that season), which, at 70% completed, stood 40 feet (12 m) tall and 45 feet (14 m) wide.[27] Students and alumni flocked to the Polo Fields, working around the clock, to rebuild the Bonfire in time for the game.[11] It was completed only hours before it was scheduled to burn.[28] After the 1994 Bonfire was burned, two tons of lime were spread on the Polo Fields to stabilize the ground. This layer hardened to a consistency similar to concrete.[29]

In 1996 a student, Greg White, died in a car accident on his way home from Cut. The student and several companions were riding in the bed of a pickup truck when the driver lost control and the truck rolled. Nine other students were injured.[30]

In its later years, students building Bonfire used logs donated by local landowners who wanted their land cleared for construction or farming.[8] Over 8000 logs were used each year in the late 1990s, taking about 5000 students a combined 125,000 man-hours to construct.[6] After being doused in 700 lb (318 kg) of jet fuel, applied by staff members at A&M's Fire Training School, the Yell Leaders, Drum Majors, and Redpots then lit the stack with torches the night before the annual football game against the University of Texas when at home and two nights before the game when it was played in Austin.[8]

This event was popular among current and former students and people traveled from all over the state and the nation to observe the burning of Bonfire. Hotel rooms within 65 miles (105 km) of College Station were booked weeks or months in advance of the date Bonfire burned.[31] Crowds ranged from 30,000 to 70,000 people, depending on the weather and the strength of the Aggie football team.[8] The 1998 Bonfire was broadcast live on Fox Sports Southwest.[23]

1999 collapse[edit]

Main article: 1999 Aggie Bonfire collapse

Bonfire recovery, November 18, 1999

At approximately 2:42 a.m. on November 18, 1999,[32] the 59-foot high stack, consisting of about 5000 logs, collapsed during construction.[8] Of the 58 students and former students working on the stack, 12 were killed and 27 were injured.[8] Immediately after the collapse, Emergency Medical Technicians and trained First Responders of the Texas A&M Emergency Care Team (TAMECT), a student-run, volunteer service, who staffed each stage of construction, administered first aid. TAMECT alerted the University Police and University EMS (also a student-run service), who dispatched all remaining university medics, and requested mutual aid from the surrounding agencies.[33] In addition to the mutual aid received from the College Station and Bryan, Texas EMS, Fire, and Police Departments, members of Texas Task Force 1, the state's elite emergency response team, arrived to assist the rescue efforts.[34]

Bonfire Memorial[edit]

The Bonfire Memorial Spirit Ring

A memorial was constructed on the university polo fields, the site of the accident. Construction began in October 2003 and was completed by November 2004.[35] On November 18, 2004, five years following the incident, the Bonfire Memorial was officially dedicated. The memorial is composed of three design elements:[36]

  • Tradition Plaza – Marks the entrance to the memorial and reflects on Aggie traditions.[36]
  • History Walk – Consists of 89 stones representing the 89 previous years of Bonfire. A gap in the timeline signifies the 1963 Bonfire, which did not burn due to the John F. Kennedy assassination. The three previous Bonfire-related deaths are also memorialized on this time line.[36]
  • Spirit Ring – The ring surrounds the site of the collapse and represents the spirit that brought the students together. Twelve portals are placed around the ring, oriented toward each student's hometown. Twenty-seven stones complete the ring, representing the 27 students injured in the collapse.[37]

The memorial design has been recognized by several organizations as an outstanding architectural design and masonry accomplishment. The American Institute of Architects, San Antonio Chapter, recognized the memorial as a winner of the 2005 AIA San Antonio Design Award.[38] The memorial also was recognized as a winner of the 2005 MCAA International Excellence in Masonry Awards.[39]

To further honor the victims, in 2000, the Aggie Replant Committee planted twelve live oak trees at the Polo Grounds.[24]

Continuation: Student Bonfire[edit]

Shortly after the university officially cancelled Bonfire, students began planning an unofficial bonfire for November 2002. Known as the "Unity Project", it became the first unofficial Bonfire since the 1930s. This fire consisted of three piles of wood, with the center stack being 35 feet (11 m) high.[40] Despite a lack of official advertisement, over one thousand spectators attended.[13]

The following year, the unofficial event was rebranded Student Bonfire.[41] Now a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, Student Bonfire has official bylaws and a Board of Directors comprising former students. The bylaws specify the design that must be used each year, and no changes have been permitted since the first burn in 2003. This design, based on the recommendation of the 2002 university task force and approved by a structural engineer, results in a Bonfire less than half the size of those from the 1960s.[13] In a departure from tradition, every log in the stack touches the ground. To maintain the traditional wedding-cake design, the logs are cut to different heights, with the tallest set reaching 32 feet (9.8 m) high. The lowered height eliminates the need for a spliced center pole. Instead, a single utility pole, sunk 15 feet (4.6 m) into the ground, serves as the center pole. As in the pre-1999 versions of Bonfire, each log is tied to the log next to it with baling wire. To further fortify the structure, aircraft-grade steel cable is wrapped around each tier.[13] For added support, four 24-foot (7.3 m) poles are spaced evenly around the stack and then bolted to the 45-foot (14 m) center pole, each with a steel pipe. These poles are known as Windle-sticks, after Levi Windle, a staunch supporter of Student Bonfire who died in an unrelated accident in 2003.[41][42][43]

The Board changed or eliminated many of the minor traditions that had proliferated during Aggie Bonfire, primarily for safety reasons. Alcohol is prohibited, and hazing has been banned. The Bonfire leadership structure has remained in place, although in 2014 only 10 of the 26 dorms were represented by Bonfire crews.[13] Attendance for Student Bonfire ranges from 8,000–15,000 people and the event is held in Brazos County or one of the surrounding counties.[41] The 2013 Student Bonfire attracted 12,000 people, despite being postponed until January due to flooding.[13] There was a virtual bonfire in 2020 due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.

References[edit]

  1. ^"Aggie Dictionary", The Bryan-College Station Eagle, 2007, archived from the original on October 14, 2007, retrieved August 26, 2007
  2. ^ abSherrington, Kevin (August 20, 2007), "Aggies might appreciate coach's gigging", The Dallas Morning News, archived from the original on August 25, 2007, retrieved August 26, 2007
  3. ^ abcdefghijklmnSmith, Jonathan M. (March 2007), "The Texas Aggie Bonfire: A Conservative Reading of Regional Narratives, Traditional Practices, and a Paradoxical Place", Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 97 (1): 182–201, doi:10.1111/j.1467-8306.2007.00530.x, S2CID 144443161
  4. ^"Traditions". Texas A&M University. Archived from the original on August 26, 2007. Retrieved August 16, 2007.
  5. ^ abcdefghijBernstein, Alan (November 18, 1999), "Aggie Bonfire holds distinction as Texas symbol", The Houston Chronicle, archived from the original on December 25, 2007, retrieved February 28, 2007
  6. ^ abcdPetroski, Henry (November–December 2000), "Vanities of the Bonfire", American Scientist, 88 (6), p. 486, doi:10.1511/2000.6.486
  7. ^ abcBurka, Paul (April 2000), "The Aggie Bonfire Tragedy", Texas Monthly (Vol. 28, Issue 4 ed.), p. 116
  8. ^ abcdefghijklmnCook, John Lee, Jr. "Bonfire Collapse"(PDF). U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Retrieved September 29, 2009.
  9. ^Stratton, W.K. (2002), Backyard Brawl: Inside the Blood Feud Between Texas and Texas A & M, New York, NY: Crown Publishing Group, ISBN 
  10. ^Channing, Whitt (2006), Longhorns for Life, Sports Publishing LLC, p. 70, ISBN 
  11. ^ abcCreel, Brady (November 19, 2001), "...And they call it 'Aggie Bonfire'", The Battalion, archived from the original on June 26, 2013, retrieved April 5, 2013
  12. ^Morris, Dave (December 8, 1999). "Memories of an Aggie bonfire boy". Salon.com. Archived from the original on February 11, 2007. Retrieved August 14, 2007.
  13. ^ abcdefghEden, Scott (November 26, 2014), "The Burning Desire of Texas A&M", ESPN
  14. ^Watkins, Matthew (November 21, 2006). "Thousands gather to witness evolving Aggie tradition". The Eagle. Retrieved February 21, 2019.
  15. ^Geisler, Erin (November 22, 2004), UT Feature Story—Hook 'Em or Gig 'Em?: Professor uses college football rivalry as context for research on social comparison, University of Texas Public Relations, archived from the original on October 1, 2007, retrieved August 25, 2007
  16. ^"A Time to Grieve", The Bryan-College Station Eagle, November 20, 1998, archived from the original on September 30, 2007, retrieved January 5, 2007
  17. ^Stratton, W.K. (September 3, 2002), Backyard Brawl: Inside the Blood Feud Between Texas and Texas A&M, Crown, pp. 100–101, ISBN 
  18. ^ abcBragg, Roy (November 27, 1985), "'Three-Bufferin headache': Frantic Aggies light traditional blaze tonight", Houston Chronicle, retrieved August 16, 2007
  19. ^Bragg, Roy (November 19, 1987), "Aggie bonfire creating heat prematurely", Houston Chronicle, retrieved August 16, 2007
  20. ^ abLebas, John (November 19, 1999), "Women Have Increasing Role in Bonfire", The Bryan-College Station Eagle, archived from the original on September 30, 2007, retrieved February 28, 2007
  21. ^ ab"Smoldering debate: Two A&M groups seeking way to cool off Aggie bonfire", Houston Chronicle, November 15, 1989, retrieved August 16, 2007
  22. ^ abRugeley, Cindy (November 26, 1989), "'It's just gotten out of hand'/Critics seek to smother spirited flames of Aggies' annual bonfire celebration", Houston Chronicle, retrieved August 16, 2007
  23. ^ ab"Gearing up for bonfire", Houston Chronicle, November 24, 1998, retrieved August 16, 2007
  24. ^ ab"History". Texas Aggie Replant. Archived from the original on May 21, 2008. Retrieved December 24, 2006.
  25. ^rebuild of the 1994 Bonfire
  26. ^"Aggies to move site of annual bonfire", Houston Chronicle, March 25, 1992, retrieved August 16, 2007
  27. ^Stewart, Richard; Ortiz, Jose de Jesus (October 27, 1994), "A&M will go full tilt again at wood tower", Houston Chronicle, retrieved August 16, 2007
  28. ^"Aggies light fire after frenzy of rebuilding", Houston Chronicle, November 4, 1994, retrieved August 16, 2007
  29. ^LeBas, John (November 13, 2000), "Bonfire design evolution fueled by informal techniques", Bryan-College Station Eagle, archived from the original on November 24, 2005, retrieved August 22, 2007
  30. ^"Texas A&M student killed, 9 others injured in traffic accident on Texas 6", Houston Chronicle, September 24, 1996, retrieved August 16, 2007
  31. ^Turner, Allan (November 19, 1995), "The bonfire in their belly", Houston Chronicle, retrieved August 16, 2007
  32. ^"Unlit bonfire collapse at Texas A&M kills at least 4, injures 25". CNN. November 18, 1999. Archived from the original on February 10, 2007. Retrieved December 20, 2007.
  33. ^"Aggie medics recount stories of sorrowful day". The Battalion. November 17, 2009. Archived from the original on June 16, 2012. Retrieved December 20, 2011.
  34. ^Morton, Anissa (November 19, 1999), "Aggie Community Bands Together", The Bryan-College Station Eagle, archived from the original on September 30, 2007, retrieved February 28, 2007
  35. ^Spruce, Jacquelyn (October 28, 2003), "Bonfire Memorial Construction Begins", The Battalion, archived from the original on September 29, 2007, retrieved March 3, 2007
  36. ^ abcMfon, Tosin (November 19, 2004), "A&M remembers bonfire tragedy", The Daily Texan, archived from the original on September 2, 2007, retrieved March 3, 2007
  37. ^"Bonfire Memorial Design". Texas A&M University. Retrieved February 17, 2007.
  38. ^"AIA San Antonio Announces 2005 Design Awards". Business Wire. November 21, 2005. Archived from the original on November 13, 2007. Retrieved February 17, 2007.
  39. ^"Excellence in Masonry", Masonry Magazine, 2005, archived from the original on October 14, 2006, retrieved February 17, 2007
  40. ^"Off-campus Texas A&M bonfire brings out thousands", The Badger Herald, Madison, WI, November 26, 2002, archived from the original on November 10, 2007, retrieved March 3, 2007
  41. ^ abcMoghe, Sonia (November 17, 2005), "Off-campus bonfire", The Battalion, archived from the original on September 26, 2007, retrieved March 3, 2007
  42. ^Hensley, Laura (November 1, 2006), "A year after fiasco, student bonfire set to burn", The Bryan-College Station Eagle, archived from the original on December 25, 2007, retrieved March 3, 2007
  43. ^Bart, Shirley (October 20, 2003). "Student dies after accidental fall". thebatt.com. Archived from the original on August 10, 2008. Retrieved January 7, 2008.

Further reading[edit]

  • The Texas Aggie Bonfire : tradition and tragedy at Texas A&M, (2000), ISBN 978-0-9679433-0-5

External links[edit]

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Other sites:

Coordinates: 30°37′22″N96°20′07″W / 30.6227°N 96.3352°W / 30.6227; -96.3352 (Bonfire Memorial) - Bonfire Memorial

Источник: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aggie_Bonfire

How many people died in the Texas A&M bonfire collapse?

Published by Charlie Davidson on

How many people died in the Texas A&M bonfire collapse?

The tradition of Aggie Bonfire burned for more than 90 years, but that all changed on Nov. 18, 1999, when the bonfire structure collapsed, killing 11 students, one former student, and injuring 27 others. It happened in the middle of the night, at 2:42 a.m.

Why did the Texas A&M bonfire collapse?

A commission created by Texas A&M University discovered that a number of factors led to the bonfire collapse, including “excessive internal stresses” on the logs and “inadequate containment strength” in the wiring used to tie the logs together.

Do they still do the Texas A&M Bonfire?

A&M no longer hosts Bonfire, but some students each fall still participate in the construction of a smaller structure off-campus.

How big was the Texas A&M Bonfire?

This allowed Bonfire to grow from 25 feet (8 m) tall to over 50 feet (20 m) tall. Subsequent Aggies adopted the new idea, and the teepee design became standard for Bonfires for the next twenty-five years.

Who died in the Bonfire collapse?

18, 1999: Bonfire collapsed at 2:42 a.m., killing 12 Aggies: Christopher David Breen of Austin; Christopher Lee Heard of Houston; Miranda Denise Adams of Santa Fe, Texas; Jerry Don Self of Arlington; Michael Stephen Ebanks of Carrollton; Bryan Allan McClain of San Antonio; Jamie Lynn Hand of Henderson; Lucas John …

When was the Aggie Bonfire collapse?

November 18, 19991999 Aggie Bonfire collapse / Start date

Can you walk on the grass at Texas A&M?

Every Aggie has a home away from home in the Memorial Student Center, Texas A&M’s student union. However, this facility is unique because it is also a memorial. Those walking outside are asked not to walk on the grass outside surrounding the facility, also as a sign of respect to fallen Aggies.

When was the last Bonfire at Texas A&M?

Attracting between 30,000 and 70,000 people each year to watch it burn, Bonfire became a symbol of the deep and unique camaraderie that is the Aggie Spirit. Bonfire burned each year through 1998, with the exception of 1963. That year Bonfire was built but torn down in a tribute to President John F.

Where is the Texas A&M Bonfire Memorial?

polo fields
Situated on the polo fields of Texas A & M University, the Bonfire Memorial was created to memorialize twelve students who were killed when the structure being built for the university’s annual Bonfire collapsed in 1999.

What is the most important Aggie tradition?

According to the Houston Chronicle, “perhaps the best, most meaningful Aggie tradition of all is one you wish never happened.” While students at many schools prize their individuality, “Aggies are all about unity and loyalty.

What traditions does Texas A&M have?

While TAMUG students honor many of the traditions garnered from the main campus, they also uphold traditions which can only call the TAMUG campus home.

  • 12th Man. Aggie Ring. Anchor. Big Event. Bonfire.
  • Elephant Walk. Gig Em’ Howdy. Maritime Ball. Maroon Out.
  • Midnight Yell. TAMUG Yell Leaders. Muster. Reveille. Silver Taps.

When did the Aggie Bonfire collapse?

Источник: https://www.pursuantmedia.com/2021/02/01/how-many-people-died-in-the-texas-aampm-bonfire-collapse/

Remembering the victims of the Texas A&M bonfire collapse 20 years ago

20 years after the deadly Texas A&amp;M bonfire collapse

Aggies gathered at the Bonfire Memorial on the campus of Texas A&amp;M University on Monday, Nov. 18 at 2:42 a.m. to honor the victims of the bonfire collapse 20 years ago.

COLLEGE STATION, Texas - Hundreds of people, including cadets in full uniform, lined the Spirit Wall of Texas A&M’s Bonfire Memorial in the pre-dawn hours of Monday morning.

Their candles provided the only light falling on the field where the 1999 bonfire collapse claimed 12 lives and injured 27 others.

President Michael Young spoke, and attendees sung “The Spirit of Aggieland” during the remembrance ceremony which started at 2:42 a.m., the approximate time the collapse happened.

Many students in attendance were too young to remember the collapse but demonstrated through their presence that they are old enough to understand the importance of honoring those lost. 

But David Morefield from A&M’s class of 2000 witnessed the tragedy firsthand.

He says several of his bandmates did not come out to the 1999 bonfire; they were ineligible because of their grades.

But Morefield never got the message to stay home, and ended up watching seven of his friends get killed. 

“Everybody has come up and started to talk to me about it because it’s the 20th anniversary,” he says. “I’ve had no choice but to confront it, so I decided to come out here this year.”

During the ceremony, all 12 names of those lost were called out, with the audience responding “here” after each one. 

John Comstock, an unexpected survivor, was the last pulled from the rubble after the collapse.

“I was on top of the third tier when the whole structure swayed and the whole thing went down,” he says.

He was pinned underneath and was dubbed “the 13th man” when officials didn’t expect him to survive.

But he did hear words of encouragement during the seven and a half hours of being trapped. 

“I had a log come across my waist, and I had a log on my head as well,” recalls Comstock.

The documentary “The 13th Man,” released in early November, is based on his experience which he hopes helps others heal from the tragedy. Still, some want people to learn from what happened.

The bonfire was being constructed as part of an Aggie tradition ahead of the annual rivalry game against the University of Texas. It’s a tradition that Morefield says belongs in the past.

“I’m kind of glad to see that it’s not continued at the university,” he says. “Students are going to do what they’re going to do, but after being out here for what happened I would prefer to keep the memory of my friends and why they loved it, and let it go.” 

Like many at the ceremony, he’s taking comfort in remembering without expecting his 20-year-old wounds to heal. 

Although, some students reportedly continue to hold small-scale bonfires, Texas A&M has replaced the tradition with acts of service.

BUILD, a student organization, converts shipping containers into mobile medical clinics, naming the worldwide centers after those who died in the collapse.

Over the past two decades, the student-run Aggie Replant, has planted well over 52,000 trees and pine seedlings in Texas.

Источник: https://www.fox26houston.com/news/remembering-the-victims-of-the-texas-am-bonfire-collapse-20-years-ago
texas a and m bonfire

5 Replies to “Texas a and m bonfire”

  1. @Zhana Welch It's not about the woman staying home, its about a parent staying home. No one said it had to be the wife and I've seen in many cases its not. Stop trying to make this a war of the sexes thing. In a family you work as a team. Enough said.

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