Texas A&M’s 122-year-old tradition of honoring current students who have died will be delivered in a new format this fall.
Held on the first Tuesday of every month from September through April, Silver Taps will move to virtual format due to health and safety concerns related to COVID-19. The first Silver Taps of the semester will be held on Sept. 1 at 10:30 p.m. and live streamed on KAMU-TV and on A&M’s Facebook and Instagram accounts.
“We worked tirelessly to provide an outlet in which students can continue to honor their peers, and stand with the families and friends of our fallen Aggies,” Traditions Council Silver Taps Chair Noah Vaughn said in an interview with Texas A&M Today. “While the ceremony may look different this year, and may feel a little farther from the rustling leaves in Academic Plaza and the chiming of the bell tower, please know that it means all the same to the families of the honorees.”
Dean of Students Anne Reber told A&M Today that given the pandemic, Silver Taps is more important than ever this semester.
“It is likely that our students have experienced the loss of loved ones — family members, friends at home — or know others who have experienced this type of loss since March when we were all last together in Aggieland,” Reber said. “During that time, our students may not have been able to honor those loved ones as they would have liked. Now that our students are returning to campus and our Texas A&M community, they will want to honor their peers who have also lost their lives as only they know how and that is through the tradition of Silver Taps.”
Although the delivery will be different, Reber said the ceremony will hold the same reverence.
“The families of our fallen Aggies will still participate in this semester’s Silver Taps ceremonies and we would love to show them our student body supports them in their time of sorrow even if it is virtually,” Reber said. “We will all be watching, we will be together, for ‘We are the Aggies, the Aggies are We.’ The Aggie Spirit will still be felt.”