For 175 years, those words have inspired passions and politics. The 13-day siege resulting in a battle to the death for its defenders is truly the stuff of legend.
Each March, one weekend is set aside as “Remembering the Alamo Weekend.”
The date was March 6, 2011.
While it was not our first visit to the Alamo, historically it was the most significant!
On this Sunday morning we joined an exceptionally large crown of thousands to “Remember the Alamo,” and the battle there on a similar morning 175 years earlier.
Texans recalled the 189 known defenders who died and the 400 to 600 Mexican troops killed or wounded.
The place was packed, full of tourists.
They came from all over, to participate in the battle reenactment and other activities. Grabbing their muskets, straightening their hats, and pulling on jackets ranging from ratty leather to officer uniforms, they readied themselves for the various activities.
The event included cannon demonstrations and educational programs, marching armies, arrival of the Gonzales 32, and more to commemorate the 175th anniversary of the fall of the Alamo. The dramatization was put on by The San Antonio Living History Association.
Dressed in period clothing they demonstrated how both the Mexicans and the Texans lived—how they prepared food, played music, made cloth and clothing, and how they fought battles.
A large crowd gathered in the early morning chill to remember the predawn battle of March 6, 1836, in a reverent ceremony.
A Mexican bugle call of oración and a Texian bagpiper’s playing of “Amazing Grace” ended the service.
Newspapers of the 1800s heralded the battle as “the Thermopylae of the West,” comparing it to an ancient conflict pitting 300 Spartans against a much larger Persian army.
As new facts emerge 175 years later, Texans are re-examining the role of Tejanos before and during the Texas Revolution.
A separate ceremony by Primer Batallón de Mexico honored the Mexican soldiers of the battle. John Serna in narrating the event told hundreds of visitors gathered at the ceremony that the soldados have been portrayed in history, movies, and paintings as savages and cowards. But they were brothers, fathers, husbands, and countrymen who saw the Texians as foreign invaders and didn’t fully grasp the socio-political complexities of their time.
Throughout the day, local celebrities spoke to the crowds, but none could outshine the women representing the Daughters of the Republic of Texas, a sisterhood of 7,000 women who are direct descendants of those who rendered loyal service to Texas before its annexation in 1846. They are the caretakers of the Alamo, raising funds for its upkeep, and are among the most highly regarded women in San Antonio, or so I was told.
“The impact of the events that occurred here 175 years ago simply cannot be overstated,” Councilman Reed Williams, mayor pro-tem, said at the evening ceremony. “This isn’t necessarily a celebration. It is, definitely, a remembrance.”
Texas Spoken Friendly
Wasn’t Born in Texas, But Got Here as Fast as I Could
You may all go to hell and I will go to Texas.
I must say as to what I have seen of Texas it is the garden spot of the world. The best land and best prospects for health I ever saw and I do so believe it is a fortune to any man to come here. There is a world of country to settle.