At 6:51 a.m. on April 21, Muster Live began with a World Wide Roll Call in which more than 1,500 people were remembered.
Throughout the day, 30 to 40 virtual Muster ceremonies across the globe live-streamed their events at MusterLive.AggieNetwork.com before campus Muster begins at 7 p.m. Any event that has already started or ended can also be replayed on the same website.
Though Aggies cannot softly call the Muster among their peers this year, the Muster Live website allows visitors to post “Here” for any honoree. Visitors can also upload photos and memories for any of the fallen Aggies.
Muster has been celebrated by Aggies in times of uncertainty before, as Kathryn Greenwade, vice president of the Association of Former Students, reminds students.
“Muster is Texas A&M’s most sacred tradition,” Greenwade said. “In 2020, it takes on a special meaning as Aggies will Muster while sheltered-in-place around the world.”
Kaley Markos, Aggie Muster Committee chair and sport management senior, said her committee worked with Texas A&M and the Association of Former Students to ensure Aggie Muster lives on in this new format. Markos said this year’s Muster is history in the making.
“Traditions are often surrounded by this idea of sameness and are given an everlasting quality,” Markos said. “What we have come to recognize this year is that while traditions at Texas A&M are founded on perpetuity and legacy, they must also be nurtured through time and adapted to change.”
Markos said she hopes to dispel the idea that Muster was canceled this year. Instead, she and her committee hope to honor Aggies this year through these virtual events, including the interactive Reflections Display on the Muster Live website.
“For our honored families, we hope that this serves as a moment of honor and remembrance for their loved one,” Markos said. “For current students, we hope to shed light on the challenges they face and the changes they have had to overcome. And for the Aggie Network at large, in a time of separation, it is my true belief that this year's ceremony will serve as a beacon of togetherness.”
Kristen Sarna, Traditions Council chair and environmental studies senior, reminds the Aggie family that distance does not detract from the meaning of the tradition.
“Despite the fact that the tradition looks different this year, the spirit behind the tradition remains unchanged,” Sarna said. “No matter how geographically spread out we are, Muster serves to unify us as we answer ‘here’ for our fellow Aggies.”