Their lives were lost, but their memories live on. Aggie Muster is considered one of Texas A&M's most sacred traditions, paying homage to fallen Aggies over the previous year.
With several deaths already this year, the 2009 Muster will hold a special significance. Aggies are now coming together in a relatively new addition to the somber ceremony.
It's called "Reflections." It's designed to give a glimpse into the lives that have been lost over the last year, by sharing some of the things the fallen held near and dear to their heart.
It's a solemn note that echoes throughout the entire A&M campus.
"Families are here, when they see how even though their loved one has passed, current students who have met them before still want to show their respect by learning from that person," Reflections Coordinator Alexis Collett said.
Learning through pictures, pointe shoes, and other personal items, that honor fallen Aggies that are being recognized this Muster.
"I would love for them to see the hearts of those who have left us, and take away their traits and characteristics and their skills to keep those going," Collett said.
They're items that bring about smiles for some, and tears for others.
"I see a lot of parallels between his life and some of the folks I've read and looked at before," Carl Scrogum said.
Scrogum is at the Memorial Student Center at Texas A&M to honor his son Christian, who was killed in a car accident. He hopes people passing by take a few things away from his son's life.
"That he existed, that he was good, that he would have been one hell of an Aggie," Scrogum said.
Christian is just one of the young lives tragically lost over the last year.
There's also brother and sister, Travis and Rachel Joiner, who were murdered in their College Station home in March. As well as Lindsay Walters, killed in a Northgate parking garage accident last month. And Zachary Cook, the Aggie who died after the Black Hawk helicopter he was flying in crashed on campus in January.
The age of the fallen is something weighing heavy on the hearts of many.
"A lot of folks here were taken away early and who knows what kind of potential or contributions they would have made," Scrogum said.
"It's really felt when it's the 2000 earlier or the 90's (students) that's really too young," Student Tyler Conroy said.
But it's this solemn tradition that's helping some families get through the rough patches, by students softly calling the muster and answering "Here."
"Since this all happened, I really have a deep respect for Aggies," Scrogum said.
In case you didn't have a chance to stop by campus Monday, to learn a little bit more about the lives being honored this Muster you still have another opportunity.
The "Reflections" exhibit will be on display again tomorrow in the MSC flag room from 9 a.m. until 3. Organizers say it's a great opportunity for students to learn more about fellow aggies, and stand for them when their name is called in the Muster ceremonies.
It's expected to be a full house of heavy hearts Tuesday for this year's Aggie Muster. Texas A&M's former President and current Secretary of Defense Robert Gates will be the guest speaker.
Muster is set to begin at 7 p.m. Tuesday evening, at Reed Arena.
More than 300 ceremonies honoring Aggie lives lost are expected to take place around the world, including five in Iraq and five in Afghanistan.
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