Remembering West: West has come so far in rebuilding its community

Rewon Shimray | Cartoonist

To the City of West,

We remember. We remember that night, five years ago, when so many of your lives and livelihoods turned to ash and dust. We remember your struggle to cope with loss — the memorials and the funerals and the press conferences. For the past five years, your town has worked to rebuild, through lawsuits and investigations and reparations, and even then, you were not alone. The Baylor community has been sending assistance, outreach and love since the beginning, and we want to remind you that our support is still there.

You’ve come so far in rebuilding your community and not only in remembering the 15 lost in the explosion, and rehabilitating the 200 wounded. You’ve reconstructed houses, organized relief efforts and rebuilt your economy from the ground up. You’ve mourned, and been angry and believed that nothing could possibly get better. We at the Lariat want you to remember that although time has passed, and you all are moving on, we are still with you.

Not only were Baylor students some of the first to travel to West to help rebuild after the blast, but we have a deep personal connection to your town. Thousands of our students, as well as groups from the Waco community, gathered in the Ferrell Center to participate in a prayer vigil during the week following the explosion and donated funds through concerts and Diadeloso that spring. We’re constantly praying for you, for the families devastated by this tragedy, for the growth of the town and for continued healing overall.

So, no matter how many years have passed, the Baylor community will still remember the city of West:your struggles, your heartache and your healing. We love you West, and we are proud of you all. We are so incredibly thankful for the privilege to call you our neighbor.


The Baylor Lariat