Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Hramblings: A call for courage and for the return of the Texas A&M Bonfire

Bridges collapse, shuttles explode, airbags kill the occupant they were intended to protect and this is a fact of life for engineers. It is a regrettable outcome of saying you will build something, and keep others safe...and falling short.

The Bonfire collapse like other such tragedies are sudden, shocking and should give us pause, but after mourning, reflection and analysis, we must go on. To do otherwise is to admit that Texas A&M cannot produce students and faculty capable of planning, designing and implementing a project of this magnitude and risk level. This is simply not the case.

While I am not an Aggie, I am an engineer and John F. Kennedy's words about what would become the Apollo mission still ring in my ears:

We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.

Put simply and respectfully: mourn the fallen and get out from under your bed. I look forward to a Bonfire that is both spectacular and properly engineered. Perhaps not this year, but soon.


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