Silver Taps honors Tarleton’s deceased
By: Sierra Wells
Honoring students, faculty, staff and alumni who died the year prior, the Tarleton State University Silver Taps Ceremony took place on April 19 at Alumni Island.
“At convocation and candle lighting, we welcome students entering into the Tarleton family,” President James Hurley said. “By lighting their Tarleton flame at that ceremony, we make a promise to them with these words, ‘Your flame will burn with those of others of this great brotherhood and sisterhood until your life is finished and your Tarleton brothers and sisters lay your flame to rest.’ This evening, we fulfill that promise to our Texans who are no longer with us.”
Over the past year, eight enrolled students and two active faculty members died. These 10 individuals were represented at the ceremony with purple-draped chairs that had white roses on them.
Providing the alumni remarks, past President of the Tarleton Alumni Association Ranae Lane discussed the traditions that make the Tarleton community feel like a family.
“It’s really special for me to come back and see our students carrying on the traditions that were started so long ago and represent all of the things that make Tarleton, Tarleton,” Lane said. “Tonight, the tradition of Silver Taps really honors the lives of our brothers and sisters and of our family. There are members of our family that we’ve never met before, but they’re family just the same because we all bleed purple.”
Cadets Kade Blackwell and Seth Matthews conducted roll call of the Honor Roll, a ceremony where Tarleton community members light candles to remember their fallen loved ones while their names are read out loud.
“I believe our fallen Texans would want us to remember a few things. First, that we always protect the traditions that make Tarleton the most special university. They would also want us to continue our unwavering support and steadfast love for this incredible place we all call Tarleton,” Hurley said.
After the roll call concluded, Hurley, Lane and Walker Kirk laid the wreath onto the base of the John Tarleton statue to pay tribute to the university’s founder.
Senior cadets took the Tarleton flame to the military memorial
“They carry the flame to the memorial in honor of our Tarleton military veterans who passed away this year and to signify their willingness to follow in the Tarleton military legacy of service to our nation,” Cadet Ryan Sproull said.
Closing out the ceremony, along with the 21-gun salute, the Tarleton trumpet ensemble played Taps, directed by Dr. Brian Walker.
“To the families, friends and loved ones of the Texans we honor tonight, please know that our gates are always open, and once a Texan, always a Texan,” Hurley said.
Remembering the names of people Tarleton lost through this ceremony has kept their spirits and memories intact in the campus community.