NewsHonoring Our Fallen: Memorial Day 2022

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'Aggie Angels': New generation remembers those who made ultimate sacrifice

Posted at 12:36 PM, May 31, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-31 13:42:25-04

COLLEGE STATION, Texas — Texas A&M was built on the foundation of our nation’s military back in 1876, serving as a predominantly male institution with those intending to join the Corps of Cadets for military training.

Over a hundred years and tens of thousands of students, both male and female, later, those values continue to serve as the core of what it means to be an Aggie.

It’s one of the reasons why Will Kohmuech, an Aggie whose dad served in the United States Marines, loves attending the university.

“You’re here today because of the men and women behind me,” Kohmuech said.

Kohmuech is a tour guide at A&M and leads hundreds of future Aggies through the hallways of the Memorial Student Center.

“All these people did unbelievable things,” he said, referring to the wall of service members who died in the line of duty.

459 names are etched in multiple panels of Plexiglas.

“[They] sacrificed the greatest thing that they could in their lives to just make sure that I have the freedom, the rights, the opportunities that I have been given today,” Kohmuech said.

Each name is lit up with a slight blue tint, making it seem as if the names are floating right in front of your own eyes.

“It provides a lot of perspectives,” Kayla Parker, a former Corps of Cadets member said as she looked at each name.

”Perspective on how great our lives actually are.”

Walking down the halls of the student center, it's clear how much passion each Aggie has for this school, for the Armed Forces.

“Being able to come to a university where they place so much emphasis and so much respect toward our members in the service just really makes walking around this campus and living here that much more special,” Kohmuech said.

While school is out for summer break, the building remained quiet, with few people walking through.

However, there were more faces than just touring students in the Hall of Honor.

Eight portraits hung, each receiving its own spotlight and backstory.

Each picture was of a man with two pieces of hardware in common: an Aggie ring and a Medal of Honor.

”One of the biggest parts is remembering everything that's happened and memorializing those people who allowed you to be at this spot,” Parker said with a quiet voice.

The faces and stories are displayed to remind everyone, not just on Memorial Day, of these American heroes who were awarded the highest military decoration.

“This more somber stop on our tours really just gets the mindset right for some of our visitors and [they] realize, wow, this university really cares,” Kohmuech said.

For those who made the ultimate sacrifice, Parker shared one message.

“You're never going to mean nothing. You're always going to be somebody who matters to Texas A&M."