Reunion held for New London blast survivors - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Reunion held for New London blast survivors

By Bob Hallmark - bio | email

LONGVIEW,TX (KLTV)- They survived a living nightmare that was march 18th 1937, and today they came home to east Texas to remember. The survivors of the New London school explosion gathered for a happy reunion, old friends that grow fewer with each passing year. Yet for those who remain the memory of the New London school explosion is as clear today as it was 74 years ago.

"I was in the building, I was in a math class, and all of the sudden it was gone," says blast survivor Mary Lou Taylor, who was 11 at the time of the explosion.

A dozen survivors returned today. Each person had a story of how they miraculously survived the massive blast.

"I was blown full of glass and shrapnel, it just went black and I hit the front door I knew where it was and went down them steps," says Otis Bryan.

"The roof laid done just like a big sheet on top of the desks and the windows were gone, so I went to the edge and jumped off," Taylor.

She sprained her ankle but survived.

"I wound up on the ground I went through the windows , or what had been windows, I lost two sisters in the building," Francis Myers says.

"It took a long time for me to come back," says Betty Daniel-Smith of the class of 44.

Still the reunion for some is bitter sweet.

"The Oklahoma city bombing reminded me so much of the way our building looked that day," Smith says.

"Every year there's always someone missing," Bryan says.

The class mates will end their reunion with a memorial service dedicated to those who died in the blast, at 10-am Sunday at West Rusk auditorium.

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