25 April 2010

An overdue Thanks to Texas A&M University

It's ironic that sometimes you don't appreciate something you have until it's needed... This post is a tribute to the Aggie Family that I've discovered that I've had over the past year.

Lara_Swanland_AnM_Sibisa



Texas A&M University, probably 26 out of 25 schools I applied to was the last place in the world I wanted to go out of high school. I remember how distraught I was that I couldn't get the money together to go to any other school in the country.

Ironically, I ended up loving the school. Found my very best friends... and really learned a lot about myself.

It made it even more special when my little sister decided to attend the school when she got out of high school. Now, I had somebody that I could share all of the traditions and secrets about the school.


When my sister was killed, almost a year ago, for the first time I really understood what it meant to be an Aggie.
Wooden Cross on the Left Side of the highway.
The school had come together to make arrangements for me and my family to host the memorial service. An entire network of people were calling me to to make sure that I knew, should I require it, they would be able to help.

There are two traditions at A&M that were always special, but after this year, became personal.
Silver Taps (there is an earlier entry) where the school comes together the first Tuesday of every month during the academic year to honour the current students that had fallen during that time-- and Muster.

Lara_Swanland_Muster

Aggie Muster is held at the same time every year. April 21st, San Jacinto Day. It's a ceremony that is held across the world to make sure that time is taken to reminesce of family memebers that have passed away. By family, it's not the bond of blood that holds them together, but rather that of sharing Texas A&M. So if you passed away as a student, as an alumni (even fifty years later), somebody will remember you and will answer "here" for you on Muster.

Muster-Memorial


The Muster at A&M is the largest, but at the ceremony, each person answering "here" lights a candle and holds it while the name is being read.

I did this for Serena and behind me, were her friends and Aggie family remembering her.


During the week there is a set up where people can have a reflections display of the those being honoured at muster. For me, that was even more significant than the ceremony as it gave a chance for Serena's friends to say a couple of things.

Serena_Swanland_reflections4Serena_Swanland_reflections2



Serena_Swanland_Reflections


I am so thankful for Texas A&M and the Aggie Family for helping remember someone that is so special to me.


The Flowers are in bloom...