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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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One step away
June 8, 2024

As 9/11 memories slip away, Aggies have a perfect model to follow in Muster, Silver Taps

FILE

FILE

Maybe you remember Sept. 11, 2001. The footage, the hoarseness in the voices of the news anchors, the tone in your teacher’s voice. But the years keep lumbering past this town, and there are Aggies on this campus — waving their towels, buying their textbooks — who don’t have first-hand memories of that day.
This generation of Aggies might still hold on to childhood memories of 9/11, but we’re approaching the point where that won’t be the case.
I remember, but I was 10 years old. I remember it as a fourth grader remembers things. Most days I had to make my own PB&Js while my older brother played video games upstairs, but when I got off the bus that day I saw my parents’ cars in the driveway. They never left work for good news. That’s how I learned of the terror — it jostled my routine.
I saw, but I didn’t feel. I watched the news, but unlike my parents I didn’t see the millennium’s innocence evaporate. I didn’t feel fear blossom in the deeper parts of me. I saw planes and smoke and rubble, but if I cried it’s because I saw my dad doing it.
I won’t make assumptions on behalf of the Class of 2018, but I’d bet a good portion of them remember little of that day, even less than I do. And that means we have a great responsibility.
Because once we shift from the known to the passed-down, we fall right into the sweet spot of Aggie tradition.
We’re not good at everything around here, but we know how to remember. And that’s a skill. It must be learned. Of the hundreds who stood beside me Tuesday at Silver Taps, most knew little about the students being honored, and they didn’t stand there out of instinct.
They did it because Aggies spoke with pride in their voices and told them Silver Taps is an institution that must be protected and respected. Aggies take pride in the dark quiet of Silver Taps, Muster and Bonfire, in the hat-lessness of the MSC, because men and women in whom we placed respect told us we should.
It was passed down. Inherited.
It’s time for Texas A&M to hold high the banner of the lives lost in that smoky chaos. We’ve done it before. We’re pretty good at it. Few groups have more experience in such matters.
Those men and women deserve more than a textbook, and as the Class of 2018 gives way to the 2019 and 2020 and 2021, we’re in danger of leaving Sep. 11, 2001 to the classroom. Not unless we make room for it in our chest of traditions.

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