Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Softly Call the Muster

I don't normally depart too greatly from gaming and geekery here on Jason Richards cannot be trusted, but today is one of the proudest of the year for me and hundreds of thousands of Texas A&M Aggies, and I feel obligated to share. Please take a moment to read about something very dear to my heart.

Today, on the anniversary of the Texan victory at San Jacinto that sealed the young Republic's independence, Aggies gather together wherever they are to eat a little, relive the good times, and commemorate our fellows who have died in the past year. We call this the Aggie Muster. It's a tradition born of love and family, hardened in the fires of war during the defense of Corregidor, and carried forward to today by the long maroon line of honor and tradition that is Texas A&M University.

There is nothing like the Aggie family any day of the year, but especially today. Aggies endure a lot of friendly (and not so friendly) jabs, but there is no greater loyalty or camaraderie to be had in this world. Today, Aggies will gather in hundreds of locations in every state and across a dozen countries to have fellowship. We will gather in churches and schools, military bases and our homes, all in the common bond that we share.

If you want to read a story that is as enduring and impactful as any there is, learn more about Aggie Muster, our most important tradition, and maybe understand me a little better as well.

I leave you with the words of Dr. John Ashton, class of 1906, in his poem read at Musters across the world today:

Roll Call for the Absent

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 68 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!


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