90 years later, vigil honors victims of Bath School tragedy

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BATH, Mich. (WILX) - Ninety years ago, Susan Hagerman's dad was a 4th grader at Bath Consolidated Schools.
"In my dad's classroom Miss Weatherbee was reading to them and they'd just finished their story when all of the sudden everything went up in the air and then came back down," Hagerman said.

Her dad was trapped beneath the rubble. He couldn't see and kept calling the janitor's name for help.

"Finally somebody came and put him out in the yard up against the tree and he had broken his foot and his hair and his eyebrows and eyelashes were all burned," Hagerman said.

Susan's not alone. A lot of families in bath can trace back ties to the tragedy that happened that day. They were given the opportunity to share memories and stories at tonight's vigil.
"Not only emotional, but so heartfelt,” Ken Church said. His grandparents were there that day. “To know that we all share in this. This wasn't an individual, families. This was our entire community."
38 chairs were at the vigil, each with a name, representing the children who were killed in the blast. Five in the back for adults as well. It's what people say is the biggest massacre of children in U.S. history. It's for those people that this vigil is being held. And it helps their spirits live on.

"It would just be wrong of us not to continue the memory and keep things alive," Church said.

Families say sharing the stories honors the survivors and those lost. And it was often hard for the survivors to even talk about what happened that day.

"My dad, anytime he heard a loud noise it just terrified him,” Hagerman said. “He never really got over it, you don't get over something like that."

They say this town uses that tragedy as a sign of their strength. That they support each other. They did it back then. And always will.