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Roll Call for the Absent

April 21, 2012

12,000 people.

The silence.

The honor.





I attended Texas A&M University for my undergraduate degree and one of the many traditions that I love and cherish is the yearly ceremony called Muster.

Every year Aggies gather at Reed Arena in order to honor any fellow Aggies that passed away in the last year– alumni included. It’s amazing to know that every Aggie will be honored one day.

The Muster website explains:

Muster is a time to look to the past, present, and future…not only to grieve but to reflect and to celebrate the lives that connect us to one another. A gesture so simple in nature yet so lasting in spirit, Muster is the lasting impression every Aggie leaves with us; it reminds us of the greatness that lies within these walls, of the loyalty we possess, of the connection that binds us, and of the idea that every Aggie has a place of importance – whether they are present in flesh or spirit.

As I’m here in Korea, I join my fellow Aggies around the globe in order to honor those who have passed and moved on to the other side of eternity and to celebrate my time as a student at Texas A&M– the friends and memories that I made there… It’s an honorable tradition– one that I remember most and hold with candid  emotion~

I am thankful that this year I do not know a single name on the roll call. I do not await the day that I will, though I know it is inevitable. In loving memory and honor– we, too, shall one day be called.

Though it is not today, so I shall light a candle for my fellow Aggies.



// Here //

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


If you’re interested in the history of Muster (taken from:


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 classroom. Eventually the annual gathering evolved into a celebration of Texas Independence on San Jacinto Day – April 21st. Over time the tradition has changed, but its very essence has remained: “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.” Muster is celebrated in more than four hundred places worldwide, with the largest ceremony on the Texas A&M campus in College Station. Aggie Muster as we know it today is credited to E. E. McQuillen ’20, who served as the Executive Secretary of The Association of Former Students. It is fitting that he was honored to serve as the first Campus Muster speaker.

The committee was recognized as a student organization in 1950. Like the tradition itself, the committee has transcended the eras and events throughout its history and remained true to the timeless ideals of Muster. The Muster Committee is responsible for organizing and planning every aspect of the tradition, from speaker to barbeque, awareness to the Roll Call – this committee continues the livelihood of this great tradition year after year. The committee falls under the discretion of the Student Government Association. The 2012 Muster Committee is composed of twenty three committee members, six sub-chairs, and one chair. Their tasks vary among the five subcommittees: Awareness, Programs, Roll Call and Families, Speaker Selection, and Special Operations.


3 Comments leave one →
  1. April 21, 2012 10:38 pm

    Beautifully written, Dyanne. So…does this mean there are Aggies that you’ll be meeting up with for Muster over there in Korea?

  2. April 22, 2012 12:23 am

    you know, there probably are aggies here, but i haven’t searched for them~ this year i don’t think it’ll happen but i’d like to find out~ i’ll have to see if there are other aggies here^^

  3. April 29, 2012 3:39 am

    Your writing is interesting. I find out about your life, where you went to school, what is important to you. And then you have images, other peoples writing and a little bit of history. I will come back to read more.

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