A few days ago, I indulged in what has to be one of the most depressing of modern experiences—reading the comments to news articles that are posted on line. It would be so nice to read civil, thoughtful discourse, but instead the posters seem mostly to come from the dregs of society, or at least they feel free to portray themselves that way. Anyone who attempts civility is soon shouted down.
However, to the persons who were posting really nasty things about my home state last week, and of all things invoking the spirit of Sam Houston to do so, you are, of course, entitled to free speech and to your opinions. However, one of you made quite pointed references to our state battle cry, “Don’t Mess with Texas!” Sorry, but that’s actually the trademarked slogan of the anti-litter campaign of the Texas Department of Highways.
Today, March 6, is the anniversary of the final assault in the Battle of the Alamo in 1836. The battle cry of Texas, inscribed on the reverse of our state seal, is “Remember the Alamo!”
If you happen to be in San Antonio with its fascinating River Walk and its basketball team, spare a little time to visit the Alamo. Go the first thing in the morning, when the traffic noise is quieter and there are not quite so many other visitors. Spend a little time in the building and the museum and then sit quietly in the beautiful garden and imagine it as it was 176 years ago and remember the price that has been paid and is still being paid for our freedoms:
The enemy has demanded a surrender at discretion, otherwise, the garrison are to be put to the sword, if the fort is taken -- I have answered the demand with a cannon shot, & our flag still waves proudly from the walls -- I shall never surrender or retreat. Then, I call on you in the name of Liberty, of patriotism, & every thing dear to the American character, to come to our aid, with all dispatch -- The enemy is receiving reinforcements daily & will no doubt increase to three or four thousand in four or five days. If this call is neglected, I am determined to sustain myself as long as possible & die like a soldier who never forgets what is due to his own honor & that of his country --
VICTORY OR DEATH
William Barret Travis
Lt. Col. Comdt.
William Barret Travis died at his post on the cannon platform at the northeast corner of the fortress. He was 26 years old.