Susan "Sue" Owen '94 March 16, 2023 11:36 PM updated: January 22, 2024 3:32 PM
Related: Lists of Aggies honored at Arlington National Cemetery, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial (see also: tx.ag/VietnamMIAAggies), the Normandy American Cemetery in France, the Luxembourg American Cemetery and both American military cemeteries in Italy; and Aggies who died due to service in World War I.
On Muster Day, April 21, the Club has arranged for the two cemeteries to fly Texas A&M flags and play the Aggie War Hymn over their public address systems.
The following day, all 15 names (see list below) will be read aloud at the Club’s Muster in Florence and answered with “Here.”
These honors have been a long-term effort for Italy A&M Club president Ryan Price ’91.
“Years ago, I visited the Florence American Cemetery in Impruneta, Italy, just outside of Florence,” Price said. “I recalled there was a Medal of Honor recipient buried there by the name of George D. Keathley ’37.
“We visited his grave and have done so at least once per year for the past eight years or so. I then became interested in knowing other Aggies who were buried or honored in the two cemeteries in Italy.”
Help ensure all eligible Aggies are on the 2023 Worldwide Muster Roll: tx.ag/AddAName
Price teamed up with Sanders Corps of Cadets Center curator Lisa Kalmus ’93 to research and create a list of 15 Aggies who are honored at the Florence American Cemetery and the Sicily-Rome American Cemetery.
He then worked with both cemeteries and the American Battle Monuments Commission to explain the importance of the Muster tradition among Texas Aggies and arrange for the cemeteries to honor the 15 men on April 21.
“When we formed the Club this year,” Price said, “I wanted to do something for these former students who paid the ultimate sacrifice in the name of freedom.
“To me they represent everything A&M is about. They honored their country, state, school, family and all of humanity in the fight for freedom and justice. They paid with their life so others may live.”
The Italy A&M Club’s first meeting will be its Muster, Price said. “The members are spread all across the country. From the island of Sicily, to Rome, Tuscany, Milano and the borders of Switzerland and Croatia.
“We have invited any students who are studying abroad to attend as well.”
Find the Aggie Muster nearest you in April 2023: tx.ag/FindAMuster
Price received the Italy A&M Club’s charter last month, helping bring the total of A&M Clubs chartered worldwide by The Association of Former Students to more than 280. (Find the A&M Club nearest you at tx.ag/Clubs.)
He said that it would be wonderful if on future Muster Days, Aggie flags were flown at all of the American Battle Monument Commission locations around the world where an Aggie is buried or honored.
“It would be a fitting way to perpetually say ‘Here’ to these fallen soldiers and to let everyone know they are not forgotten in Aggieland.”