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