The last Silver Taps ceremony for Texas A&M University’s current school year — originally scheduled for April 3 but cancelled because of severe weather — will be held Tuesday (May 1) to honor the memory of Nicholas James Garbarino, a senior mechanical engineering major who died on Jan. 26, and Michael Chris Kaitson, a sophomore general studies major who died on March 13.
On the day of the ceremony, all campus flags will be flown at half-staff, and the names of the students to be formally honored and remembered will be posted at the base of the flagpole in the Academic Plaza. A box will be placed at the foot of the Sul Ross statue, where students may place letters of condolences that are passed on to the families of the students being honored. Family members are notified well in advance of the ceremony so that they have the opportunity to attend.
The campus will be darkened at 10:20 p.m. In the darkness, students, family and friends will silently gather in the plaza in front of the Academic Building. At 10:30 p.m., an honor guard from the Ross Volunteer Company of the Corps of Cadets will march across campus to the plaza, where cadets from the honorary unit will fire three rifle volleys to honor the memory of the 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.
Silver Taps, one of the university’s most solemn traditions, was first held in 1898 upon the death of the university’s president, Lawrence Sullivan Ross, and has changed little from that time. It is held the first Tuesday of the month between September and April to honor the memory of any currently enrolled Texas A&M student who has died since the last Silver Taps ceremony was held.
In case of rain or dangerous lightning, the ceremony will be held at an alternate location. Free parking in the University Center Garage will be available between 9 p.m. and 2 a.m.
For more information, contact Student Assistance Services at (979) 845-3113.
Media contact: Tura King at (979) 845-4670