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Traditions Come But Should They Go

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Traditions Come, But Should They Go? Essay, Research Paper

Tracy Willing

English 1301


Traditions May Come, But Should They Go?

When the sixty foot tall, 2 million pound stack of logs came crashing

down on Texas A&M University students last November, it left 12 students

dead, and 27 injured. Not only did the ninety year old tradition result in death of

human life, it also became apparent that the traditions own life was at

stake. Should the tradition die along with those 12 students? I think not.

Some opponents of the bonfire are stating that the tradition should not

continue due to the recent tragedy. They are stating that it is too dangerous an

event to risk more lives. And others claim the event was unsupervised and

organized by a bunch of drunk students. I say, why discontinue a ninety year

old tradition just because an accident occured? Do we also stop all airlines

from flying when an airplane goes down? How about dismantling a 1000

mile stretch of railroad when a train jumps the tracks? No! We place rules

and guidelines down and we IMPROVE. Granted the examples I give are

not so called traditions but they are a way of life, as was the bonfire for the

students at Texas A&M. So I say, instead of putting the axe down on a

tradition, why not continue it with some professional, structural design, an

annual safety review, and more adult supervision?

Since 1909, the famous bonfire tradition has only been canceled twice.

Once in 1963 when President Kennedy was assisinated, and last year due to

the collapse. The bonfire annually drew thousands to the University campus

on the eve of A&M s football game against Texas. The bonfire was so

popular, it inspired a sculpture at the center of the A&M campus. So when

University administrators gathered after the accident to decide the traditions

fate, college students, and even parents of the deceased came to speak out.

Michael Self, father of bonfire victim Jerry Don Self, said, I am

speaking for my son, because he is not here to speak for himself. As a father,

it is hard, but I know in my heart Jerry would want the bonfire to burn this

fall. . Richard Frampton, father of 22 year old victim Jeremy Frampton, also

said he felt the tradition should remain as is. I think what was gained was

bonding and loyalty through the bonfire. The kids put on such an amazing


In conclusion, I believe the bonfire should continue. We should learn

from this horrible tragedy, and make sure it never happens again. Adult

supervision is definately needed, and a professionally engineered design

should be considered. Also, an annual safety compliance review should be in

place. I say, do whatever it takes to continue this age old tradition that

inspired many people, and enriched more lives than it destroyed.

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