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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
Farewell from the graduating Battalion staff of 2024
The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Mail Call – Bonfire was based on an overhyped rivalry

I disagree with the continuation of the tradition as the method to do honor those who died.
See, the tradition never was honorable in the first place. In fact, it was flat out silly.
Don’t give me “unity.” Yes, it was a very large party, and many people chipped in to make it happen. So what? The entire underlying premise – the reason for all that wasted time, all those sleepless nights and subsequent failed tests, all the injuries and ultimately the deaths of 12 students – was nothing more than a silly play on words, and an over-hyped rivalry.
In no way do I wish to devalue those who died. My dismissal of Bonfire does nothing more to dishonor them than your desire to reinstate it does to honor them. Their respective values as people – as brothers, sisters, sons, daughters and friends – is found elsewhere.
I was discussing this with my wife, also a former student, and she made what I thought was a brilliant suggestion: build houses!
Imagine what all those man hours could do for a family! We’re talking about changing lives forever, compared to a very large campfire lasting one night.
And, you still get to wear hard hats and tool belts. If you really miss the fire, you can pile all the scrap building materials together on the last night, light it up and get plowed just like before.
From the ashes of that irrelevant, hollow and now tragic tradition, make something honorable.

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