Family and community members crowded around the Marshall University Memorial Fountain Monday at noon on the Huntington campus. The ceremony was to mark the 46th anniversary of a plane crash that claimed the lives of football players, coaches and community members.
It’s a Marshall tradition each year on the day of the anniversary of the crash to hold a ceremony around the fountain to remember the lives lost.
This year’s speaker was Dennis Foley, a former Marshall linebacker who suffered a career-ending injury just weeks before the 1970 accident. at the time, the injury kept him from making the trip to East Carolina with the Thundering Herd, but he lost teammates including his roommate. Foley said for 30 years after the crash he would deny that he was at Marshall at the time of the accident. But in the early 2000’s he realized it was ok to talk about it.
"But I initiated conversations about who I was and what happened to me at Marshall, I no longer buried it, but let it come to the surface," Foley said. "I became close to many new people and made many new friends and family from that time."
At the ceremony each year on November 14, the fountain at the center of campus is turned off for the winter months. Students, faculty and others also place one rose on the fountain for each person on the flight.