Marshall 46th Annual Plane Crash Memorial Service


They gather at Marshall University by the hundreds on this day every year to remember 75 lives lost.

The November 14, 1970 plane crash took the Thundering Herd football team, coaches, boosters and flight crew. 

13 news found that the memorial crowd is diverse, but bonded by this ashes to glory story.  

Walking and placing roses on the Memorial fountain base, there among the current football players who joined family and friends of the 75 who perished that November night was Jeff Jones.

 A boy then, who lost his father, 13 News sports director Ken Jones. 

Jeff told 13 News; “He was sports director on what was at the time WHTN 13 news. He had just been named sportscaster of the year in 1969. He had great things ahead when this happened.”

With their whole college lives ahead, many Marshall Freshmen attending the memorial knew the history and felt the reverence in remembering.

Freshman Evan Terry told us,”This is a big ceremonial thing. Not just for the university but the community itself. This is a university of legacy and those are the things we need to live up to.”

We found that dozens who come to this memorial did not go to school here, have no friends or family involved with Marshall. They simply know the story and are compelled to come because they care.

Terry Slack, a West Virginia native now from Knoxville, Tennessee told us, “You think about all the children who lost parents. 70 children lost one parent. 18 were orphaned.  And, just to think what it did to a town. I live in a college town, what would that do to the City of Knoxville if something like that happened there?”

The memorial theme was, “We will never forget.”

46 year later, we discovered that the ashes to glory remembrance remains solemn, and strong.

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