Silver Taps is one of the most sacred and significant traditions at Texas A&M University. It is one of the final tributes held for any Aggie who was enrolled in undergraduate or graduate courses at the time of their death.
A Silver Taps ceremony is held on the first Tuesday of each month, from September to April, to honor students who have passed away since the last ceremony. Starting in the morning, the flags on campus are flown at half-mast. The names, classes and majors of the fallen Aggies are listed on cards placed at the base of the flagpole in the Academic Plaza and on the Silver Taps Memorial.
Throughout the day, students can write letters to the families of the fallen Aggies. That night at 10:15 p.m., all the lights on campus are extinguished. Hymns are then played on the Albritton Bell Tower, always including "How Great Thou Art" and ending in "Amazing Grace."
Around this time, students gather silently in the Academic Plaza. The families of the fallen Aggies are also led into the plaza. At 10:30 p.m., the Ross Volunteer Company marches into the Academic Plaza at a slow cadence. Once they arrive, they fire a three-volley salute in honor of the fallen Aggies.
After the last round is fired, buglers atop the Academic Building begin to play a special rendition of “Taps” called “Silver Taps,” which is unique to Texas A&M. The buglers play “Silver Taps” three times: once to the north, once to the south and once to the west, but never to the east, because the sun will never rise on that Aggie again.
This solemn tradition was held for the first time in 1898. No other university in the world honors students in this way.
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