Texas A&M Silver Taps Will Be Virtual For The Fall Semester
Silver Taps, Texas A&M University’s tradition which honors current students who have passed away since the last Silver Taps, will transition to a virtual event for the fall 2020 semester due to health and safety concerns. The first virtual Silver Taps will be on Tuesday, Sept. 1 at 10:30 p.m. on KAMU-TV and on Texas A&M’s YouTube channel.
The decision to move Silver Taps to a virtual format was made in compliance with current gathering size limitations.
Silver Taps is held the first Tuesday of each month from September-April, if necessary, following a student’s death. It is one of the final tributes held for any current professional, graduate or undergraduate student who has passed during the year. The September Silver Taps is currently slated to honor eight Aggies.
The ceremony will feature the Ross Volunteers and Corps of Cadets buglers, salute honored families and friends and contain customized tributes to the fallen Aggies.
“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,” said Traditions Council Silver Taps Chair Noah Vaughn. “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 Student Life Anne Reber said that Silver Taps is more significant than ever this semester given the current climate related to COVID-19.
“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.”
An Aggie Remembers—No Matter the Environment
As COVID-19 rates increased and regulations strengthened, the Offices of the Dean of Student Life and Traditions Council quickly moved to ensure the tradition was sustained.
“The families of our fallen peers have always been our highest priority, and we believe this is the safest way to serve them in a way that remains meaningful,” Vaughn said.
Viewers are asked to participate with the same reverence and respect as before, Reber said.
“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,” she 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.”
Stories of those honored are presented in The Battalion prior to the ceremony. Traditions Council will collect digital letters to honored families through their online form released the week before each Silver Taps.
The name of the “Silver Taps” comes from the tune played during the ceremony by the Corps of Cadet buglers. It is a special rendition of “Taps” unique to Texas A&M and is only passed down from bugler to bugler.
Learn more about Silver Taps from the Division of Student Affairs.
For questions or more information about virtual Silver Taps, contact Angela Winkler at firstname.lastname@example.org.