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The day Auburn’s old, giant bronze eagle sculpture first took flight

We miss the eagle, you miss the eagle, all God’s children miss the eagle.

It’s there to visit for those who know the not-so-secret location of its (final?) resting place. But folks have been tweeting about it a lot and Instagramming their friends riding it like Falcor and really just missing it, so here are some photos we recently discovered of the day it first took flight: Dec. 2, 1989. That was the day. Sound familiar? Ditto. Yes, the eagle whose majestic wings welcomed fans to Auburn basketball fans to Beard-Eaves Memorial Coliseum (then just Eaves-Memorial) was installed to mark the occasion of a football game, specifically the first Iron Bowl in Jordan-Hare Stadium; obviously nothing basketball-related could occasion the installation of a giant bronze bird of prey, even for a team coached by a man named Eagles.

The ceremony was at 9:30 a.m. People were there. Auburn won. The eagle soared. For 7,842 days. This was its last in the air.

Related: VIDEO: Auburn’s eagle nearly flies the coop in epic pre-game flight.

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