Thousands Stand 'Stillwater Strong' At OSU Memorial Ceremony
STILLWATER, Oklahoma - It was an emotional day in Stillwater as Oklahomans stood strong at a ceremony honoring the four people who died after a car plowed into a crowd at OSU homecoming parade.
In addition to remembering those hurt and those who lost their lives, they also paid a special tribute to the everyday heroes who stepped up to help their fellow Oklahomans in need.
The tragedy that struck OSU ten days ago was made even more poignant by the fact that it was homecoming - the biggest weekend of the year at OSU.
Tuesday, Lieutenant Governor Todd Lamb, an OSU alum himself, said it's special because Cowboys love to come home.
Thousands attended the ceremony to honor those who died, those who survived and those who stepped in to help.
Lamb said, "The state of Oklahoma will never forget the lives lost," and neither will the OSU family.
They were certainly not forgotten Tuesday, as many were moved to tears in their remembrance.
“We lean together, as we lean on God.” Those words opened the memorial service that drew a crowd of about 2,500 just ten days after the deadly crash at the OSU homecoming parade.
The Lord's Prayer filled Gallagher-Iba Arena, the same prayer said by the OSU football team hours after the crash that killed four people and injured dozens more.
The lives of Nash Lucas, Marvin and Bonnie Stone and Nikita Nakal flashed across the screen as their loved ones stood and were honored.
Stillwater Mayor Gina Noble honored the first responders who saved lives on the day Stillwater became Stillwater Strong.
"Ordinary citizens who sprang into action under extraordinary circumstances," she said. "Through our pain and our grief, we became Stillwater Strong."
The lieutenant governor talked about the “Oklahoma Standard” and the tragedies that have struck the university three times since 2001.
“Unfortunately, far too often, this state and this university have had to prove it," Lamb said.
President Burns Hargis closed the ceremony saying the tragedy can be a catalyst to embrace each other and love each other.
Hargis said it's not a cliché, it really is a family, and they will remain Stillwater Strong.