By Rachel Benbrook Mason, Regular ContributorOctober 31, 2015
image via osugiving.com
Since the time I was born, I have always bled orange and black. My dad has more Oklahoma State University spirit than almost anyone I know, and it was never a question where I was headed when I turned 18.
Stillwater, Oklahoma was my home for four years. I grew up in Stillwater. I joined a sorority, became involved in leadership, and made memories to last a lifetime.
The people were incredible, and the strong spirit that connects the OSU family is a bond I will always be proud to be a part of.
Sadly, that spirit was called upon this past week when tragedy struck. Homecoming is a special time when students decorate house decks with decorative designs and alumni return to campus to reminiscence about their time as a cowboy. Every year, students and loyal fans turn up bright and early to witness the homecoming parade. But, during this year’s homecoming parade on October 24th, the unthinkable happened.
A woman drove her vehicle into the large crowd of onlookers who was watching the parade and caused numerous casualties and injuries. Three victims were killed on the scene, and one two-year-old boy passed away the next morning in the hospital. Numerous other individuals were hospitalized and several are still in critical condition.
My heart is broken for those who were involved in this tragedy, but the Stillwater and the Oklahoma spirit lived up to its reputation.
Individuals immediately began helping those around them, and brave paramedics rushed to the scene. In the midst of heartbreak and tragedy, the University, and the state as a whole, banded together to mourn those were lost and help those who are still recovering or fighting for their lives.
OSU has always had a wonderful community feel. That community has never been more apparent than it was this past week. I have seen so many people come forward in love and support to rally together during this tragedy. In community there is strength, and when people come together after tragedy, they can provide that strength to others. I am proud to be a loyal and true OSU alumni. I am so thankful for my university and thankful for the outpouring of support that has come from other Oklahomans and people all around the globe. When tragedy does strike, there is not a stronger or better community I would rather be a part of.
How can you help support the people in your community, like OSU did for theirs? Tell us below!
Rachel is a graduate of Oklahoma State University and the University of Leeds where she studied Political Communications. She is a passionate advocate of strong friendships, caffeine, social justice, current events, travels and adventures, as well as all things peanut butter. She enjoys watching Parks and Recreation, as well as teaching English to new language learners.
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