Aggies pack Reed Arena for annual Muster ceremony

Discussion in 'Publicly and Privately Funded Military Colleges' started by Lawman32RPD, Apr 22, 2016.

  1. Lawman32RPD

    Lawman32RPD 5-Year Member

    Jan 29, 2011
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    The article that follows is from the "The Eagle," the newspaper in Bryan-College Station. Aggies have a "muster" every April 21st. The purpose of the muster is to remember the Aggies that have passed on and to answer "here" for them. The whole school joins, not just the Corps of Cadets. Musters are held around the country with various alumni clubs and others.

    Quiet reverence filled the overflowing Reed Arena on Thursday evening as thousands of Aggies gathered to softly call “here” for those who lost their lives over the past year.

    Throughout the evening, those in the crowd listened intently as speakers shared their thoughts on the longstanding tradition.

    The keynote speaker for the event was legendary Texas A&M football coach R.C. Slocum, who served as the university’s head football coach from 1989 to 2002.

    A veteran Muster speaker, Slocum emphasized that while he was honored to be addressing all of those in attendance, he wanted to make sure the focus for the evening was properly placed.

    “I’ve always realized this ceremony is not about the speaker,” Slocum said. “Muster is much bigger and more meaningful than its speaker.”

    Throughout his speech, Slocum shared the personal meaning that Muster has to him and urged each Aggie at the ceremony to remember that one day, their name would be called as well.

    He asked the audience to ponder the legacy they would leave behind when that day comes and encouraged them to strive to leave a positive impact on the people around them with their lives.

    With upward of 1,600 people being honored at Muster ceremonies in more than 300 locations around the world Thursday, several well-known names — including John David Crow, class of ’58, Col. Joe T. Haney, class of ’48, Leo Goertz, class of ’82 and Rusty Thompson, class of ’85 — were met with a resounding “here.”

    The more than 160 names called during the ceremony’s roll call included 17 current students who died over the past year and several members of the reunion class of ’66.

    Tom Lunsford, a member of the 50th anniversary class of ’66, said while Muster has changed quite a bit since he was a student, the core of what makes the tradition special still remains.

    “It’s a unique Texas A&M experience,” Lunsford said. “Nobody else does it. The spirit of Aggieland and the camaraderie and the brotherhood that we develop here just continues on through the years, more so I think than probably any other school.”

    Lunsford added this was the first time in 50 years that he had attended a Muster on the university campus and it was an opportunity he had been looking forward to for some time.

    “I’ve been very excited about it,” Lunsford said. “It’s a very moving experience.”

    Freshman Tom Rester said before the ceremony that while this was his first Muster, he already considered it to be one of Texas A&M’s most important traditions.

    “Tradition was one of the things that drew me to A&M,” Rester said. “I’m just excited to be here for an Aggie tradition that I’ve heard so much about.”

    Also on Texas A&M’s campus Thursday night, the Brazos County A&M Club’s Muster ceremony in the Bethancourt Ballroom of the Memorial Student Center called more than 140 names.

    In addition to the 50th anniversary class of ’66, the ceremony also offered a special tribute to the five surviving members in attendance who were at the famous 1946 Muster ceremony on the island of Corregidor in the Philippines. (link includes photographs)
    RocketDad and bruno like this.

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