This was not the original post I planned for today, but today is too important of a day to not acknowledge it.
Throughout the year, it is so easy to get caught up in the competition with other people around you and forget that we are all in this journey together. This is why Muster is my favorite tradition at Texas A&M. We put everything aside and take a day to lean on each other for support during what has been a difficult year for some. For those of my readers who aren't Aggies, Muster is a time for us to celebrate and honor the lives of other Aggies who are no longer with us.
Muster occurs once a year on April 21st and Aggies from across the world gather to honor our brothers and sisters. It's said that "If there is an A&M man in one hundred miles of you, you are expected to get together, eat a little, and live over the days you spent at the A&M College of Texas." Earlier today my friend posted about taking part in Muster in London on her study abroad trip. Tonight, just down the road from my ladypartment, Aggies are gathering on campus at Reed Arena. I have friends gathering right now in their hometowns. This is not a day we take lightly and not a day we forget.
The ceremony on campus is something all students and residents of Bryan/College Station (Aggies or not) should take part in at least once. It's chilling listening to the Century Singers, Woman's Chorus, and the Singing Cadets voices ring in the silent auditorium as everyone files into their seats. The keynote speaker always reminds us the importance of this day, shares their experience at Texas A&M, and how their fellow Aggies shaped who they are today. After that, poems are read and we begin Roll Call for the Absent. A candle is lit by family members of the person called and people answer "Here." The Corp of Cadets perform Silver Taps and by this point I always have tears in my eyes because you can feel the spirit of Aggieland in the room and our bonds have never been tighter.
Sadly, tonight I have a friend that my boyfriend and I will answer "Here" for but it fills my heart knowing Aggies are celebrating his life with us, our friends, and his family.
ROLL CALL FOR THE ABSENT
In many lands and climes, this April dayProud sons of Texas A & M unite.Our loyalty to country, school, we pay,And seal our pact with bond of common might.We live again those happy days of yore,On campus, field, in classroom, hall, at drill.Fond memory brings a sigh--but nothing more:Now we are men, and life is one a great thrill!On fortress isle one year ago today,*A group of gallant Aggies, led by Moore,Held simple rites which to us all doth say:The spirit shall prevail o'er cannon roar!They thought of home and all we hold most dear:Where are they now--those boys we knew so well?Ask of the winds, let smile repress a tear,Think only of their glory when they fell!Corregidor! forever more a hallowed nameTo countless sons of Texans yet unborn;Symbolic like, it stands for deathless fame:A shrine sublime till Resurrection morn!Softly call the muster,Let comrade answer, “Here!”Their spirits hover ‘round us:As if to bring us cheer!Mark them "present" in our hearts,We’ll meet some other day.There is no Death, but Life EterneFor heroes such as they!