Jeanette Hennigan began her lifelong love of Texas A&M University in 1958 when she married James Hennigan ’54. En route to her first Muster in East Texas, James stopped explaining the tradition just long enough to propose. Three months later, they were married.
Their family eventually moved to College Station, where Jeanette served in the Office of the President for Gen. James Earl Rudder ’32, Alvin Luedecke, Jack Williams, Jarvis Miller ’50, Charles Samson Jr. and Frank Vandiver. As part of her job, she typed the list of names for each Silver Taps. Moved by the somber task, she sought a way to comfort families by explaining how their children were being honored. “Her magic was in helping describe the Aggie Spirit to others,” said Joni Lora, her daughter. Jeanette’s desire to bring loved ones into the solemnity of one of Aggieland’s most enduring and meaningful traditions inspired her to pen “Silver Taps at A&M”:
“Silver Taps at A&M”
By Mrs. Jeanette Hennigan (1967)
You hear about the Aggie Band
And the Spirit of Aggieland;
But few have heard the farewell hymn
Of Silver Taps at A&M.
All day the flag flies at half-mast.
A sign to us of a solemn task,
To bid farewell to one who’s gone.
With Silver Taps, he’s not alone.
The night is dark and very still.
Where Sully stands the area fills
With a silent crowd of those who care.
Their hearts all joined in silent prayer.
The Ross Volunteers, the honor guard,
Speak for us all as their guns discharge.
Twenty-one guns now blast the air
And fade away in the darkness there.
Then taps blows loud from the tower near;
And twice again so faint, yet clear.
Like rustling wings of a soul in flight,
Silver Taps fades in the night.
You stand spellbound, you scarcely breathe.
With heavy heart you turn to leave.
Your Aggie friend no more you’ll see
Till Silver Taps is blown for thee.
Silver Taps at A&M
Will always be our farewell hymn
To those who’ve gone to heights unknown.
With Silver Taps, he journeys on.
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