The Muster ceremony consists of an address by a keynote speaker, the reading of poems, followed by the Roll Call for the Absent. The Roll Call honors Aggies that have fallen since the last Muster roll was read. As the names are read, a friend or family member answers ‘Here’, and a candle is lit to symbolize that while those Aggies are not present in body, they will forever remain with us in Aggie Spirit.
…Since the beginning, every Aggie has lived and become a part of the Aggie Spirit. What is felt today is not just the love of a fellow Aggie, it is the spirit of hundreds of thousands of Aggies who have gone before. Muster is how that Spirit is remembered and will continue to unite Texas A&M and the Aggie family. A&M may change, but the Spirit never will.
There were about 170 ceremonies in Texas, 140 nationally and 35 internationally, including 3 in Baghdad (one held in Saddam’s palace). There are some who were remembered tonight who have lost their lives in the war in Iraq. This is the complete 2004 Muster Roll Call.
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,
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!
r. John A