MU memorial service today

Published 12:00 am Friday, November 14, 2003

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. - Today's Marshall Thundering Herd football fans have great memories of conference titles and bowl wins.

But not forgotten among those fond memories are the tragic memories of the plane crash that claimed the lives of 75 people Nov. 14, 1970.

Marshall University will conduct its 33rd consecutive memorial service honoring the players, coaches, school officials and boosters who died as the plane crashed on its return trip from a game at Eastern Carolina University.

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The service, conducted by the Marshall Student Government Association, will begin at noon. Guest speakers will be Marshall president Dan Angel, head football coach Bob Pruett, and Dave Walsh, a freshman on the 1970 team and current sportswriter with The Herald Dispatch.

"We know what a tragedy the crash was and we know that many, many people still mourn the loss of their loved ones to this day," Student Government Association President Brandon Stevens said.

"It's important that we continue to remember them as well. It really hits home when you stop and think that the lives of 37 students, all around 20 years of age - our age today - were cut so short in that crash. It was a tremendous loss."

The traditional laying of the wreath will take place near the end of the service at the Memorial Fountain on the campus near the student center, which then will be silenced until next spring.

The crash of a DC-9 jetliner, still considered the worst tragedy in the history of athletics in America, occurred upon approach at Tri-State Airport at 7:47 p.m. 33 years ago.

The victims included 37 players, five coaches, 21 supporters, seven university staff members, and five crew members.

The service is open to the public.