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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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Displaying stories

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Photo by Photo by Robert O’Brien

The Muster Reflections Display for Joseph Stanley Britton Jenkins, Class of 1965. 

A pair of senior boots, a Bonfire pot, an Aggie Ring, a diploma.
And photographs upon photographs.
These mementos and more line the tables of the Stephen Horn ‘79 Flag Room, showcasing the lives of those whose names will be called this Thursday at 7 p.m. Open from April 14 to April 21 at noon, the Muster Reflections Display is set up annually in the Memorial Student Center to give families of honorees the opportunity to share pieces of their loved ones with the Aggie community.
At Jason Robert Gentry’s display, there’s handwritten notes from his two young kids, Elisabeth and Samuel.
A Baylor Scott & White RN badge hangs on Miranda Elizabeth Meckel’s display.
The first display on the west side of the Flag Room showcases a Texas Senate Proclamation in memory of Neil Ross Gurwitz, Class of 1950, for his service to the Bastrop community.
Three United States patents are stacked on the display for former biomedical engineering professor James Machek.
The display for former Vice President of Communications for the Association of Former Students Kathryn Greenwade, Class of 1988, is filled to the edges of the table with a number of personal mementos, awards and recognitions, including a saber presented by the Corps of Cadets Company C-2 for her 13 years of service as an academic advisor.
These, and more, are the stories of the Aggies lost in the past year.
For Abby Kite, co-coordinator of this year’s Reflections Display, these displays share more about the memories and legacies of the fallen Aggies than just their names.
“I think the Reflections Display is a really great way to personalize your experience with Muster,” Kite said. “A great thing to do is pick out two or three of the names [on the Muster], go to the Reflections Display, learn more about them … and really keep those people in your mind and in your heart throughout Muster. Then when you say ‘Here’ for them, there’s no way you can’t feel that connection.”
Political science senior Katrina Leslie, who is serving as a Muster host this year, said the Reflections Display allows the community to put a face to Muster.
“I think a lot of people can be distant from the tradition of Muster in that, you show up and hear a name that you’ve never heard of, but you’re saying ‘Here’ for them,” Leslie said. “I think [the Reflections Display] really makes it more of a personal connection for people, especially when I go to Muster and I say ‘Here,’ I know more of who the people are, who the Aggies are, that we’re actually honoring and what their life meant to their loved ones.”
As a graduating senior, Kite said she’s glad she got involved with Muster Committee during her final year at Texas A&M, and that being involved with the Reflections Display has given her the chance to reflect on her own family.
“Being able to directly impact a family’s experience and be a part of aiding their grieving process or giving them a moment to breathe I think is something that really resonates with me,” Kite said. “Grief is a very complicated thing. A lot of times the best thing you can do is show up for someone.”
In the back corner of the Flag Room is a display which Kite said stood out to her the most this year: A standing memorial for Earl Clifford Butler IV, Class of 2021, with digital photographs, a cowboy hat, his diploma and more, which his wife Lisa reached out to Muster Committee about displaying back in September.
“It’s this huge standing display, [and it’s] electrical. They engineered it, it took them six hours to build,” Kite said. “I think that show of love and that display really ties into being able to create an experience for the families that allows them to show their love.”
For kinesiology freshman Kayla Crutchfield, who is also serving as a Muster host this year, the Reflections Display is her favorite aspect of the tradition.
“You can remember, ‘Oh, I looked at that person’s reflection display and I got to see their family,’ and you get to know their story before you just say ‘Here’ for them,” Crutchfield said. “It’s more meaningful.”
This year’s display, Kite said, truly embodies the spirit of the 12th Man.
“You can just feel the love when you walk into the room,” Kite said.

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