Zach Elder

Zach Elder was a 2016 Mineral Wells High School graduate and a petroleum engineering senior at Texas A&M. He died Friday following a three-vehicle collision in Bryan.

COLLEGE STATION – Two Texas A&M University students, including Mineral Wells resident Zach Elder, will be honored at a Silver Taps ceremony on Oct. 1.

A 21-year-old engineering major and senior, Elder died Sept. 13 in a three-vehicle wreck in Bryan. Jedidiah Talom, a junior general studies major from Midland, was found dead in her residence hall room on campus.

The ceremony is set for 10:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 1, at Texas A&M University.

Held on the first Tuesday of each month from September to April, if necessary, Silver Taps is considered one of the oldest and finest traditions of the Texas A&M student body. Silver Taps was first held in 1898 upon the death of the university’s president, Lawrence Sullivan Ross, and it has changed little from that time.

On the day of the ceremony, all campus flags are flown at half-staff and a list of the names of those to be remembered is posted at the base of the flagpole in the Academic Plaza. Additionally, individuals are encouraged to write a short letter or note to the families of those being honored and place the notes in boxes located at the Academic Plaza and West Campus Library, as well as the tables on the Quad and in front of the Koldus Building.

The family of each student to be honored is notified of the ceremony and sent a floral arrangement by university officials.

In honor of these students, 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 will march across campus from the Corps of Cadets area to the plaza, where its members will fire three rifle volleys to honor the memory of these 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.

Free parking in the University Center Garage will be available between 9 p.m. and 2 a.m. In the case of severe weather, Silver Taps will be held in an alternate location.

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