That cross was a replica of one placed at the site where, 75 years ago, the lives of almost 300 people ended at 3:17 p.m.
Sunday marked the 75th anniversary of the London school explosion, and the hundreds of people gathered at the auditorium came to remember those who perished in the aftermath.
Dr. Eric Holleyman's father and aunt were among those in the school building. His father was 16 at the time and escaped the destruction with his life, but his aunt did not.
Holleyman, a senior lecturer at Baylor University, was the guest speaker at Sunday's event, which was aimed at preserving the memories of all those who perished and those who survived.
He drew an analogy between words of the Bible and the event.
The events of that day in 1937 shaped the lives of that community and those around the nation, he said.
“My life has been profoundly shaped by the explosion (on) March 18, 1937,” he said. “I have had a growing sense that has engulfed me as I entered this building that … we are on holy ground.”
Holleyman said the events of that day were never much of a topic of discussion in his household. That, he said, was the case for many of the people who were there.
That was the purpose of Sunday's event — to keep those people's memories alive and well.
In a video tribute, the names of all 293 victims, many accompanied by pictures, were recited to a rapt audience with a handful of survivors in it.
To the words of “Holy Ground,” the entire audience remembered and paid tribute in song to their loved ones.
With the Henderson Police Department's Honor Guard, the victims were remembered with a 21 gun salute.
They also were remembered with flowers at the memorial in front of the school and in the damp eyes of some in the audience.
That, Holleyman said, is what the day was for. It was, he said, how those lost in the explosion continued to live.
“Though they seldom spoke, they always carried the heart of that loved one whose life stopped progressing,” he said.