AUSTIN—It was a day our nation will never forget, with stories that 50 years later continue to ring loud.
For years, Gary Lavergne traveled across the nation, exploring the 1966 mass-shooting from the top of the UT tower. His book, ‘A Sniper in the Tower,' chronicles conversations, memories and artifacts surrounding the shooting. Lavergne spent three years traveling across the country, meeting people and families of those affected by the 1966 shooting. He believes a number of factors make this story so resilient, including Whitman himself, and the iconic tower.
“I personally believe that we look to history for wisdom and when something like what happened in Orlando, or Sandy Hook, or Virginia Tech, we look to history for some kind of guidance and if you do that, it’ll take you to this story,” said Lavergne.
Lavergne was 10-years-old at the time of the shooting, living in Louisiana, and his father was a police officer. He said his father's reaction to the news still affects him, and is what made him recognize the severity of what had happened.
“I remember my daddy looking at the television and saying you know, ‘This is not good. This guy is showing every crook what is possible.’,” he said.
Lavergne visits the graves of all the deceased people he writes about. He believes the way a person chooses to be buried tells a story in itself.