Wednesday, July 29, 2009
13 fateful days in 1836
Today I walked through the Alamo. This is where 200 Texans faced General Santa Anna's thousands. All the militia of the Alamo died. None were truly professional soldiers. Farmers, lawyers, doctors, a congressman, tradesmen, they were all volunteers. The women and children the men had protected survived in the chapel and were freed by Santa Anna to tell the story of the Alamo. That is why we know the final tale.
It is the most heroic story of my childhood. Davey Crockett was my greatest hero. Then Jim Bowie and Colonel William Travis. I suppose I read the book in my youth legend series. I know we watched the movies as a family. Hollywood and John Wayne. I know I wore a coon skin cap like Davey Crockett. Later I prized dearly the Bowie knife I'd get as a youth.
Today I cried seeing Davey Crocket's rifle, standing in the chapel where the women survived. They were all so young. The average age, maybe 28. So much pain and suffering remain in the floors and walls despite the millions of tourists that visit every year.
They had not wanted to die. They sent out couriers for help. These letters of William Travis remain on display. In the end Sam Houston would defeat Santa Anna near Houston Texas his men charging to victory on the cry "Remember the Alamo".
The Alamo is the ultimate story of Sacrifice and Freedom, as the two must go hand in hand.
And over the years in my personal life where I have stood for some principle that has cost me so much I have at times seen the day of victory and remembered the Alamo. Because the Alamo says that sacrifice is not wasted and victory and freedom will come in the end. Tyranny is always temporary. The Alamo sums up the night before the dawn in all endeavors both great and small.
That spirit is alive and well here. Everywhere I turned I heard subdued voices talking of character. heroism, goodness and right. Only 32 volunteers came to the rescue of the men at the Alamo. None left before the fateful day. Santa Anna had raised the red flag of no quarter, all would die. If some left there would be fewer who stayed. So together they faced the unbeatable foe. And their sacrifice gave Houston his victory and Texas it's freedom.
I am so thankful to have been here. "Remember the Alamo".