COLLEGE STATION, Tex. (KBTX)- Michael K. Young didn't graduate an Aggie nor was he there when the Bonfire stack collapsed in 1999 on campus, but as the current president of Texas A&M University, he says he understands its impact.
"It had a long history of representing the traditions and spirits of the university and it brought people together," said President Young in an interview last with News 3's Rusty Surette.
President Young and his staff have long-prepared for the 20-year remembrance and how to properly pay tribute to those we've lost while ensuring future Ags never forget.
"I think the students today probably have less familiarity with the sense of everybody coming out there and working really hard together for a month and lifting and stacking logs and things like that, but a very acute sense of what it means to be part of the Aggie family and what it means to lose somebody from that family," said Young.
It's not often but President Young says occasionally he's asked about the future of Bonfire and if it has a chance of ever being moved back to the school.
"There is consideration and talk about that from time to time but I think the biggest momentum is not really 'are we going to start or not start bonfire,' but how do we continue to ensure that the traditions that matter at this institution are conveyed and how do we ensure that the memories of those wonderful, extraordinary young people are always in our hearts and in our minds," said Young.
While Monday may mark the 20 years that have passed, President Young says the spirit of Bonfire is carried out every day. Through student service projects, the recently renovated memorial, and keeping a set of values in place that those Aggies in 1999 made the ultimate sacrifice for.
"We remember Aggies forever and I think Bonfire really represents that in a really powerful way to the current students," said Young.