I’m sitting here with a salt stained face from emotion that just poured out of me after having watched We Are Marshall for the first time. 


This is not a new movie, having been released in 2006, but it was new to me as I had never seen it before.  I’m not sure why I had never watched this movie.  Being a native of the tri-state are & growing up in Huntington you would think I would have seen it the day it was released like so many friends & family of mine did.  But almost 44 years ago to the day is when I experienced what rising from the ashes really means.

After the devastating loss of the 1970 football team it was incredible to learn how Marshall University was able to change the rules of the NCAA to allow freshmen to play varsity.  To be faced with such devastation & to become game changers is when I was overcome with such pride.  I myself did not attend Marshall University, but my family did & my little brother is a graduate.  Therefore, I feel I am an extension of the Herd in some way. 


Not only do I have ties to Marshall through growing up in the area, but I also had family members who were supposed to be on that flight back to Huntington from North Carolina 44 years ago.  Having not boarded that plane, I was given the opportunity to know two of the most kind hearted & loving people. 

I also feel such a tug on my heart as a college coach’s wife.  Again, that proud feeling overcame me to know the NCAA rules are the way they are because of something tragic, but historic.  Something that I & so many others have ties to.

Which brings me to my next thought; how can something so historical be looked over as the years pass?  This is brought to my attention by the survey conducted in 2012 of the 10 most miserable cities.  Huntington, WV / Ashland, KY is ranked number 1.  Not first slot to be proud of either.  A number 1 as in THE most miserable city in the U.S.  It’s sad to see a place that I love, that holds so many wonderful memories, that I actually miss & look forward to holidays to visit, is thought of as miserable. 

Have we forgotten who we are?  Where we came from?  What significance we hold?  As they saying goes, from the ashes we rose. 

I think it’s time we rose again.   It’s so easy nowadays to be constantly reminded how hard life is & the constant battle to obtain “happiness.” We far too often focus on what everyone else is doing or who has more money, stuff, or clothes than you.  It’s easy to feel entitled in today’s world because of advancements in technology & the workplace when we don’t quite achieve what we set out to.

But that is precisely the time when you need to remember what makes you happy.  Focus on what you have instead of what you don’t.  Be thankful you have a roof over your head, food in your stomach, & people who love you.  And never forget where you came from.


Marshall 1970 Memorial Fountain


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