As you know, Daddy Russ and I are Aggies and today is a day that is embedded on our hearts. Today is Aggie Muster and it is a day of honoring, remembering and reflecting. Around the world Aggies will be gathering together to honor those that we lost this year. Some of the lost will be family members, some will be friends, some will be classmates and some will be complete strangers. But we will give tribute to them equally and love them as our sisters and brothers because that’s what being an Aggie is…we’re a family that bleeds maroon.
I’ll never forget my first Aggie Muster. I was just a freshman and Daddy Russ was a senior. I was so young, innocent and doe-eyed over Daddy Russ (I like to think I still am). It was a beautiful, sunny, spring day as Daddy Russ drove us to campus. We had to kind of park a bit far away from the auditorium because the Aggies were arriving to campus in mass. I slid out of the truck observing everything around me. Daddy Russ took my hand and we merged in with the other Aggies walking towards the auditorium. Normally, when you have this many students and former students together at A&M there is tons of laughter and loudness. But on this day I remember being struck by how quiet it was. It wasn’t that everyone looked sad. Everyone just looked solemn and respectful.
We arrived at the auditorium and everyone took their seats and the ceremony began. I’ll be honest. I don’t remember the words of the speaker that year or many more specifics about the ceremony. But what I do remember was the first time I ever heard the Roll Call for the Absent. Chills rolled across my body as name after name was read of the Aggies that we had lost that year. And after each name Aggies answered, “Here.” Showing they are still here with us and are not forgotten.
This tradition still continues to touch my soul today. Every year I go to the Muster website and look at the names of those we lost this past year. Each time I’m scared that I might see someone I know on the list. And one day I know that my name will be on that list. I know that sounds so dreary but I actually find that it lightens my heart. Whenever that day comes I know that I will be loved. I will be honored. I WILL BE REMEMBERED!
Today I’m not just Mustering for Aggies. I’m also remembering those we lost this week in Boston and West. This week our nation has been hurting. Let our nation Muster together and HEAL.
I know that some of my readers are Aggies and many are not. I hope this post gives you a little insight into the Aggie spirit and one of our most reknown traditions.
NOTE: Please note all photos in this blog post are courtesy of the Texas A&M University Photo Repository.
This is my sTORI being written as you read. – Love, Mommy Tori