Thursday, April 22, 2010

Softly Call The Muster...

Sid and I went to Aggie Muster last night to answer "here" for his Mom JoAnn Walker. It was a very special and emotional night. This morning I can't even put into words what it felt like to be there and witness the Aggie camaraderie and spirit. Below is an explanation of Aggie Muster, poem, pictures from last night and a video of parts of last year's Aggie Muster. My niece Abigail Elkins held the candle for JoAnn as we all answered "here".
We miss you JoAnn, so much.

On April 21st Aggies gather all over the Earth to pay tribute and remember those that have fallen over the past year.

Roll Call for the Absent
In many lands and climes this April day

Proud sons of Texas A&M unite.
Our loyalty to country, school,
we pray,and seal our pact with bond of common might.

We live again those happy days of yore

on campus, field, in classroom, dorm, at drill
Fond memory brings a sigh -- but nothing more;
Now we are men and life’s a greater thrill,

On Corregidor years ago today

A band of gallant Aggies,
led by Moore, Held simple rites which led to us doth all to say:
The spirit shall prevail through cannon roar.

Before we part and go upon our way,

We pause to honor those we knew so well;
The old familiar faces we miss so much today
Left cherished recollections that time cannot dispel.

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 etern
For our old friends such as they!

by Dr. John Ashton ‘06

Softly call the Muster, let comrade answer 'Here'..."
Aggies gathered together on June 26,1883 to live over again their college days, the victories and defeats won and lost upon the drill field and in the classroom. By April 21, 1903, this annual gathering evolved into a celebration of Texas' Independence on San Jacinto Day. These early meetings included field games and banquets for Aggies to reflect and celebrate their memories of Aggieland. 'Let every alumni answer a roll call' wrote the former students.

It was not until 1922, however, that April 21 became the official day of events for all Aggies, thus, the annual tradition of Muster was born. The March 1923 Texas Aggie urged, '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.

Still remembering and honoring the time spent in Aggieland, the tradition of mustering has grown in strength, meaning, and spirit. By 1929, meeting had grown worldwide, and in 1942 Aggie Muster gained international recognition. Twenty-five men, led by General George Moore '08, mustered during the Japanese Siege of the Philippine island of Corregidor. Knowing that Muster might soon be called for them, these Aggies embodied the essence of commitment, dedication, and friendship- the Aggie Spirit. They risked their lives to honor their beliefs and values. That small group of Aggies on an outpost during World War II inspired what has developed into one of our greatest traditions.

Muster is celebrated in more than four-hundred places world wide, with the largest ceremony on the Texas A&M campus in College Station. The ceremony brings together more Aggies, worldwide, on one occasion than any other event.

1 comment:

Red Fish said...

what an awesome experience to go to an aggie muster. Our son-in-law died while working on his graduate studies at A&M. He was involved in a head on with an 18 wheeler on his way to college station to check on a project Dec. 26th 2000. We attended the muster that April. Very impressive.