This isn’t a feature we so much planned on having or even really wanted to have, but it’s important. It’s important because the names that are engraved on the marble that sits in the southwest corner of Gallagher-Iba aren’t names that are unfamiliar to us as is the case with so many memorials across the nation. No, those names are part of our extended Oklahoma State family, they were real people who left behind trembling families in the wake of the nightmare of January 27, 2001.
I remember exactly where I was when I heard about it as I’m sure most of you do as well. It was one of those seminal life moments that seemed to transcend the scientific certainty of time itself. It was earth-shattering to me, a 16-year old kid with dreams of playing collegiate and professional sports, that something as simple as a plane ride back to Oklahoma could go so horrifically wrong.
It was equally startling to me that such a thing could be used to draw an entire campus together. That’s family though, the liberation of unadulterated joy during the good times and the alleviation of unspeakable sorrow during the dark ones. We aren’t better for having gone through it, but we are different.
This week on Pistols Firing is dedicated to the immediate families of all ten who died on that snowy night and to every member of the Oklahoma State family who had to pick up the pieces, both physically and literally.
I could barely make it through this video the first time I watched it. The footage and interviews are absolutely excruciating on a level I can’t even begin to understand. It really should be required viewing for all incoming Freshman at OSU.
In fact, they could probably cut a few first year classes and replace them with an entire sports program that teaches Remember the 10, the history of GIA, how to be a great Cowboy fan, what not to wear to sporting events, and so on and so forth. Gottlieb could come guest speak in full uniform, it would be awesome. Somebody let Burns know I’ll teach this for $1 less than whatever the lowest salary paid to professors is.