HUNTINGTON, WV (WOWK) – West Virginia legislators are proposing a state-wide day to remember the 75 lives lost in the tragic 1970 Marshall University plane crash.
Every year, the Marshall community holds a remembrance ceremony on Nov. 14, the anniversary of the crash, to honor the lives lost that night. Students say professors allow them to miss class to attend and take the time to highlight how that tragic moment impacted the campus.
“To me, knowing the story, being a part of the story as a student here, it’s just something I’ll cherish for the rest of my life,” said Jack Kelly, a senior at the university.
“I can’t speak for the families, but just being able to plan this ceremony this past year and to meet all of the family members and to reach out to them and hear all of the stories that they’ve had to tell it’s just truly been something that you can’t even compare to anything else. They had a loss that they’ll never forget and this university will never forget as well,” said Walker Tatum, Marshall University Student Body Vice President.
Legislators originally proposed the as a paid holiday off, but after compromising, they’re now just pushing to have the day off.
“It was a time when literally the whole city, the whole state and there were people across the country, that were banning together to help our community. So, I think it’s a sign of unity, but also a story of tragedy and triumph which West Virginia is all about,” explained West Virginia Delegate Sean Hornbuckle (D-Cabell)
State legislators say getting this day approved will be a lengthy process.
The piece of legislation first has to make it through the West Virginia House of Delegates and then the West Virginia State Senate. If it passes both, it then goes to the governor’s desk, but legislators say they say they hope to have everything done by November of this year.