PLYMOUTH, Washington County - On July 30, 1997, a car accident took the lives of ten high school band students from Plymouth High School, marking a tragic day in the town's history.
On Sunday night, hundreds of community members gathered to honor the students lives’ at Spring Green Church of Christ for an anniversary memorial remembrance.The band director at the time of the accident was Leroy Bland. He spoke at the memorial and told NewsChannel 12 what this day, 20 years ago, was like.
“My student, in fact his words were, 'Mr. Bland, they're all dead,' and I didn't know who, I didn't know anything until I got to the site,” said Bland.
Brenina White was a member of the Plymouth band and was out to lunch with the students that passed. She had a difficult time talking about what life was like after the tragic accident.
“It was hard, going back, seeing those empty seats. We wanted to quit, but we all decided we weren't going to quit. We were gonna stay together and finish it all out, " White said.
At the remembrancethe current Plymouth High School band played a selection of music and remarks were made by the pastor of Spring Green Church, Bishop Stanley Hicks, the former superintendent of Washington County Schools, Mr. Julius Walker Jr., Bland, and Mayor Brain Roth.
After the ceremony, a balloon release took place, with family members releasing white, angel-shaped balloons. Other guests released blue and yellow balloons — the colors of Plymouth High School.
Members of the Plymouth High School Band Booster Club are currently in the process of putting together a scholarship fund, for future Plymouth Students. This scholarship will be presented for the first time in 2018.
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