Tonight marked a first for me as a freshmen here at A&M. I have been to so many different events here on campus before ever actually being a student but I have never attended Silver Taps. Until tonight.
How do you describe something so beautifully melancholy? It starts with the lose of a student and the gathering of not only their family, but their Aggie family as well.
On the first Tuesday of the month after their passing the flag is lowered to half mast. That evening, starting at around 10 pm the lights begin to go off around campus and students, some of whom knew the fallen Aggie and some who never met them, walk silently toward the academic plaza. As you near the plaza, all you hear i
s the bell tower playing Amazing Grace. Everyone stands, silently waiting for the Ross Volunteers to march in. As they near you can hear the clicks of their shoes on the concrete, echoing through the silence. In the darkness they raise their guns. The muzzles flashes in the dark and the first shot breaks the silence, BOOM! You’re heart nearly jumps out of your chest and as soon as you recover the second goes off…BOOM…silence…BOOM! The third shot sounds and all goes quiet. From the silence Silver Taps begins to play. The beautiful yet sad notes ring out to the North, then the West and finally the South; but the music will never play to the East, for the sun will never again rise upon our fellow classmate. As the bugle dies all you hear is the clicking of the Ross Volunteers’ shoes on pavement as the march off. Then, all the students begin to walk off into the darkness, none of them uttering a single word.
I’m certain my description could never do Silver Taps justice, but here in Aggieland we have a saying. From the outside looking in you can’t understand it, from the inside looking out you can’t explain it.