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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

Texas A&M Aggies guard Tyrece Radford (23) blocks Arkansas Razorbacks guard Tramon Mark (12) during Texas A&M’s game against Arkansas on Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2024, at Reed Arena. (Ishika Samant/The Battalion)
Free falling
February 20, 2024
Jace LaViolette (17) an Head Coach Jim Schlossnagle celebrating a home run during Texas A&Ms game against UIW on Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2024 at Olsen Field. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
GALLERY: Baseball vs. UIW
February 20, 2024
Texas A&M outfielder Jace Laviolette (17) catches a pop fly during Texas A&M’s game against McNeese on Sunday, Feb. 18, 2024 at Blue Bell Park. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)
Four for four
February 20, 2024
Texas A&M Aggies guard Tyrece Radford (23) blocks Arkansas Razorbacks guard Tramon Mark (12) during Texas A&M’s game against Arkansas on Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2024, at Reed Arena. (Ishika Samant/The Battalion)
Free falling
February 20, 2024
Jace LaViolette (17) an Head Coach Jim Schlossnagle celebrating a home run during Texas A&Ms game against UIW on Tuesday, Feb. 20, 2024 at Olsen Field. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
GALLERY: Baseball vs. UIW
February 20, 2024
Texas A&M outfielder Jace Laviolette (17) catches a pop fly during Texas A&M’s game against McNeese on Sunday, Feb. 18, 2024 at Blue Bell Park. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)
Four for four
February 20, 2024

President gives address to 10,000 West mourners

President Barack Obama, Michelle Obama, Gov. Rick Perry, and Texas Sen. John Cornyn joined 10,000 people at the Baylor University Ferrell Center for the memorial service of the 12 first responders killed in the West Texas fertilizer plant explosion.
Kristina Fabian, resident of West and junior civil engineering major, said the fact that notables like Obama showed up caused the greater U.S. community to recognize the impact of one of the biggest industrial accidents in U.S. history.
“[Obama] being there definitely raises eyebrows,” Fabian said. “It shows how it affected the whole town and they’re realizing it because such an important person was there.”
During the memorial service, Obama offered words of support for the grieving families of the firefighters, both on and off duty, who lost their lives while attempting to help stop the fires at the time of the explosion.
Obama said the families of the fallen responders did not stand alone in their loss.
“We may not all live here in Texas but we’re neighbors, too,” Obama said. “We’re Americans, too. And we stand with you and we will not forget, and we’ll be there even after the cameras leave and after the attention turns elsewhere.”
Perry described the deceased as nothing less than “stand-up heroes.”
“These are volunteers – ordinary individuals blessed with extraordinary courage and a determination to do what they could to save lives,” Perry said. “They’re the ones who proudly said ‘Not on my watch’ in the moments immediately following that explosion.”
Video tributes with music chosen specifically for each of the honored fallen were shown at the Ferrell Center and caskets were covered with Texas or U.S. flags.
The ceremony ended with the ringing of a bell for each victim and one final roll call over loudspeaker for the deceased.

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