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

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

The Battalion

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Texas A&M outfielder Jace Laviolette (17) robs a home run from Florida infielder Cade Kurland (4) in the top of the ninth inning during Texas A&M’s game against Florida at the NCAA Men’s College World Series at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska on Sunday, June 15, 2024. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
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June 16, 2024

Students still stood despite canceled Silver Taps

“I ring with pride and honor for all past, present and future students of Texas A&M University.” Everytime I turn onto Old Main and drive past Albritton Tower I think of this quote etched inside its archways.
Last Tuesday night Aggies gathered in Academic Plaza for the first Silver Taps of the semester. From the moment I stepped onto campus I knew that this Silver Taps was going to be special. The heat and humidity made the air stick to your skin, but you would never have been able to tell by the size of the crowd that surrounded the families of the lost.
Just as Albritton’s bells began to ring and silence fell over the crowd, lightning flashed and lit up the sky. Minutes later, Corps boots could be heard leaving Academic Plaza and the faces of everyone around me twisted in confusion. Soon I heard a whisper of the word lightning and knew that Silver Taps must have been canceled. I looked up and saw many students turning around and leaving, but what made this Silver Taps so special were the students who stayed.
Something you hear a lot on campus is “From the outside looking in you can’t understand it, and from the inside looking out you can’t explain it.” I don’t think I have ever thought this to be more true than when hundreds of Aggies stayed and honored the fallen despite the inclement weather and being asked to leave.
We were half an hour in when a small voice began singing “Amazing Grace” and slowly Aggies started singing along, eventually the entire crowd was singing and tears were flowing from the eyes of those mourning. While the last note hung in the air students filed in one after another to shake hands and offer condolences.
As an Aggie, I know I forget all too often how powerful the Aggie Family is. There is not another college campus on the planet where you can feel the same sense of unity that we have at A&M. Each hand I shook had Aggie gold on and it made me think about what a special place College Station is for so many people.
Just before the clock struck 11, a Corps member came up to me and said “We’re going to do a roll call for the fallen . . . pass it back” seconds later those words echoed back to me across the crowd, hundreds of students could be heard whispering, “Pass it back.”
When you lose someone close to you it leaves a hole in your heart that is not easily filled. Sometimes you go to Silver Taps, stand in silence for an hour and leave; never realizing the magnitude of what some of those around you are experiencing.
On my way home I couldn’t stop thinking about the families. The 12th Man is found in a lot of places other than Kyle Field, and after the lights were turned back on and students began leaving campus, that is what filled the hole in those families hearts.
We may not realize how impactful we are as Aggies. We may not realize how privileged we are to bleed maroon and yell farmers fight, but let Tuesday, Sept. 5 be your constant reminder that here in College Station there truly is a spirit than can ne’er be told, it’s the Spirit of Aggieland.

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