I am a very lucky girl. And I’m not saying that because my family is wonderful or because I have the most amazing friends or because I have been incredibly blessed with so many experiences. I’m saying this because I am one of the few folks who gets to call herself an Aggie AND a Hokie.
As graduation grows closer and the job search is in full-swing, I’m beginning to reflect on my incredible college experiences. In the past week I was able to participate in two extremely unique experiences: The Day of Remembrance (4.16) and Aggie Muster (4.21)
On April 16, 2007, Virginia Tech was devastated with the loss of 32 Hokies in an uncontrollable act of violence. On the fifth anniversary of this event, Virginia Tech hosted a community picnic on the drill field and a candlelight vigil in the evening. Rachel and I journeyed to the drill field for the picnic to grab some pizza and enjoy the sunshine on one of the prettiest days in Blacksburg history.
And look who we found:
Why do I always get excited when I see the Hokie Bird?
Later that evening I attended the candlelight vigil. The President of VT and the Governor spoke to the thousands gathered in front of the 4.16 memorial–But all of their words paled in comparison to the short, colorful descriptions of each victim that rang out over the crowd. At the conclusion of the 32 descriptions, a choir began to sing, “Fields of Gold,” and a ripple of candlelight spread over the crowd.
And that’s when it hit me. The warmth of the candles, the sun setting behind Burruss Hall, the playing of Silver Taps by a bugler, and the cry of “Let’s Go…Hokies.” I literally had shivers running up my spine. I had never been more proud to be a Hokie than while holding a lit, white candle with the hand wearing my Aggie Ring. It was an experience I will neVer forgeT.
Later that week was one of my favorite Aggie traditions, Muster. Muster is held on April 21st each year. It is a time when Aggies who are within 100 miles of each other are asked to come together to reminisce on Aggie memories and remember those Aggies who have passed away in the past year. The ceremony includes the War Hymm, poems, and lighting a candle for each Aggie no longer with us. As their name is called for the last time, comrades answer “Here.”
This year, I was the Muster chair for the Virginia Blue Ridge A&M Club. While our Muster was tiny compared to the thousands who gather in College Station, TX, it was still moving and meaningful. How can your heart not stop when you hear the War Hymm? And chatting with the Ol’ Ags is such a blast. They have the BEST stories.
So, like I said, I am one lucky girl who is incredibly proud of her Aggie and Hokie heritage. Gig ‘em…and Gobble Gobble