On November 18, 1999 12 Texas Aggies were killed when the bonfire stack they were building collapsed. At 2:42 this morning, one year to the minute after the bonfire stack collapsed, the entire student body gathered on the bonfire field for a
memorial service. Where there should have been a nearly finished tower of
wood, there was only a single torch. The Parsons mounted cavalry fired 12
shots from their cannon, and the names of the 12 Aggies who died were read
aloud. Then, one by one, the candles appeared. Forty thousand students lit
forty thousand candles, passing the flame from one to the next, until the
whole field was covered in a sea of tiny lights. Those candles are like the
Aggie spirit. Just as the wind and the rain last night couldn't put out
those candles, no storm can extinuish the Aggie spirit because we all have a
little bit of it with us. We will remember. We will rebuild.