KENOVA-- Sue Stephens said she can remember driving to Kenova to get a soft drink on the night of the tragic 1970 Marshall plane crash.
"I was coming up on the hill (on old U.S. 52/Route 75), and then a piece of the plane hit my car," she said, recalling the cold, rainy night.
Thirty-six years later on a clear 60-degree day, Stephens joined many others in the community near the same site to dedicate a historical marker along the road.
It sits about 200 yards from the actual crash site. Among those who attended were family members of victims, Marshall University students and faculty and community members.
The speakers included former Marshall University assistant football coach Red Dawson, former reporter for the Herald Advertiser Jack Hardin and public officials, including Congressman Nick Rahall, D-W.Va., and Marshall President Stephen Kopp. They spoke about what the movie and the sign mean to the community.
First responders on the night of the crash as well as present day emergency officials from Ceredo and Kenova were recognized for their work in the community.
Charles Sammons, president of Kenova City Council, said Monday's event was not planned to tie in with the premiere of the "We Are Marshall" movie Tuesday night. He said the idea for the marker actually came from a council member's mother who was a former instructor at Marshall.
Sammons said that Sally Plymale, mother of council member Tom Plymale, had mentioned there was no memorial at the site of the plane crash. After talking it over with council members and the Wayne County Historical Society, things began to happen, according to Sammons.
"The project was supposed to be done in September," he said. It was coincidental that it got delayed and the movie premiere was going to be set a day afterward.
"Somebody must have been looking out for us," he said.
Looking on the audience during his speech, Dawson talked about his journey through life and the ups and downs following Nov. 14, 1970.
"I was constantly asked to recall the night of the crash," he said. "But I began to turn it into a positive thing when I started to think of all the good memories that happened that day.
"I think this marker and the movie represents the makings of a great university."
Kopp said he was pleased with the turnout for the event.
"It was an outpouring of the community that gave a compelling message on how important this was," he said. "All that were aboard that plane were, and still are, apart of this Marshall. We'll never forget."