Two Texas A&M students who died recently will be honored tonight at the university’s Silver Taps ceremony.
The ceremony will honor the memories of Roberto A. Acosta, a junior engineering major from Houston who died Dec. 5; Andrew Evan Brightwell, a sophomore geographic information science and technology major from Sealy who died Dec. 8; Lela Justeen Burney, a freshman kinesiology major from Longview who died Dec. 27; and Maegan Ellen Sanders, a graduate student in management information systems from Lexington, and Wesley Donald Sanders, a sophomore business major also from Lexington, who both died on Dec. 1.
The first Silver Taps was in 1898 after the death of the university’s president, Lawrence Sullivan Ross, and it has changed little from that time.
All campus flags are flown at half-staff on the day of Silver Taps, while a list of the names of those to be remembered is posted at the base of the flagpole in the Academic Plaza.
The public is encouraged to write a short letter or note to the families of those being honored and place the notes in boxes at the Academic Plaza and West Campus Library, as well as at the tables on the Quad and in front of the Koldus Building.
Silver Taps begins at 10:20 p.m. when the campus is darkened as students, family and friends silently gather in the plaza. At 10:30 p.m., an honor guard from the Ross Volunteer Company will march across campus from the Corps of Cadets area to the plaza, where its members will fire three rifle volleys to honor the memory of these students. Buglers from the Aggie Band, unseen in the darkness, will play a special arrangement of taps. The tolling of the Albritton Tower bells will signal the end of the ceremony.
Free parking in the University Center Garage will be available between 9 p.m. and 2 a.m.
In case of severe weather, Silver Taps will be held in an alternate location.