Honoring Aggies Who Have Lost Their Lives In Service Of Their Country A Year-Round Tradition At Texas A&M
In keeping with the university’s long-established custom of remembrance, showing respect to those who have died while serving in the United States Armed Forces is observed throughout the year, not just on Memorial Day. Perhaps the largest visual reminder of Aggies who made the ultimate sacrifice is the Memorial Student Center.
The building, which serves as the campus’ student union, was dedicated in 1951 to all Aggies killed in action. And while the MSC has since been renovated and repurposed significantly over the years, the tradition remains that students and visitors are asked not to walk on the grass surrounding the building and to remove their hats upon entering.
The eight Aggie recipients of the Congressional Medal of Honor — the nation’s highest military award for bravery — are also honored through a permanent display showcased inside the MSC. The names and likenesses of those former students are commemorated in the Hall of Honor. The Aggies Lost in Service Memorial at the east end of the hall lists the names of Aggies who have died in past wars.
Clarence E. Sasser ’73 is the most recent Medal of Honor recipient to be memorialized by the university in 2013. A Vietnam War veteran, Sasser is also the first African-American medal recipient to be included in the Hall of Honor. Also honored for their service in World War II are George D. Keathley ’37, Horace S. Carswell Jr. ’38, Eli L. Whiteley ’41, Turney W. Leonard ’42, Lloyd H. “Pete” Huges Jr., ’43, William G. Harrell ’43 and Thomas W. Fowler ’43.
Not far away from the MSC, live oak trees planted around the perimeter of Simpson Drill Field honor the former students killed in combat during World War I.