By A.E. Sarver @GG_Sarver
The question of whether or not the eternal flame is really eternal has become a topic of conversation.
Over the summer, two students learned that even flames are not perpetual.
Junior, Tanner Garner, an admissions ambassador was going through his typical route. On the same day, sophomore Isabella Colangelo was driving in a Gator to accomplish her day’s work for landscaping.
The two students found the same thing.
“There was a heap of rubble,” Garner said.
“There were bricks everywhere,” Colangelo said.
“It looked like an explosion had taken place … As I walked by, I found that the eternal flame was no more,” Garner said.
The eternal flame appeared to have exploded. Those who saw the flame that day described it as “blown up.”
Yet the director of the Physical Plant differs with the supposed story. “It did not blow up,” Matt Whitis said.
Whitis explained that the south side of the eternal flame’s foundation had loose bricks that were beginning to fall. Physical Plant workers lifted the flame and the concrete top off of the foundation. When they lifted it, the bricks loosened and fell off.
The two students saw the aftermath of the Physical Plant merely investigating the shaky foundation of the eternal flame.
Whitis admits that they, too, originally thought there might have been a gas leak causing the flame to blow up. Yet further investigation showed no signs of a gas leak or an explosion.
“If it blew up, it would have done a lot more damage,” Whitis said.
Physical Plant repaired the damage the next day leaving no evidence of destruction.
Corroding bricks, gas leaks, explosions or merely a tiny fault in the brick laying; the question of what happened still remains.
“It’s just one of those things you can’t explain,” Whitis said.