March 6, 1836 – The Alamo

I am not from Texas but I got here as quickly as I could. It was March 6, 1995 the first time I stepped off an airplane onto the tarmac at the San Antonio, Texas airport headed to Lackland Air Force Base.  It brought memories of discussions from U. S. History classes of the red-letter day sunrise, March 6, 1836 at the Alamo.  Mexico gained its independence from Spain in 1821. The northern state of Texas needed to be populated to cement its hold on a large territory never settled by the Spanish.  In 1830, Americans outnumbered Mexicans 5 to 1 in Mexico. The Mexican Congress prohibited further immigration from the United States in April 1830. The people kept coming and in 1834 Mexico ordered the removal of all illegal settlers and the disarming of Texans. The order was issued by President General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna. In December 1835, a group of Texan volunteers battled the Mexican garrison at the Alamo and captured the fort taking control of San Antonio.  February 23, Santa Ana began to bombard the Alamo. The Commander of the Texan forces, William Travis, on February 24 called on the people of Texas and all Americans to send reinforcements.  In addition, Travis had appealed to Fannin at Goliad to send troops.  On March 3, the bad news came.  There would be no troops coming to help at the Alamo.  59 insurgents on March 3, 1836, convened in Washington on the Brazos and issued the Texas Declaration of Independence from Mexico.  The final battle on March 6, 1836 began around 5:30 am when some 1100 of Santa Ana’s men attacked and defeated the Alamo.  There were many casualties. Forty-six days after the fall of the Alamo Santa Anna met his match at San Jacinto east of Houston. The day of the attack was a day of infamy. The battle cry became, “Remember the Alamo”.  We have had others, “Remember Pearl Harbor”, “Remember the Maine”, “Remember 9/11”.

Several years ago, I attended a memorial service for a good friend where we were asked by the family to bring reminders of the young man.  There were pictures, letter jacket, baseballs, gloves and an assortment of miscellaneous items.  Each person told the story behind the item and how much it meant to them. Our hearts were moved and there was not a dry eye in the place.  Laughter, tears, smiles, were all mixed together.  

The Alamo should be remembered this way.  WE MUST REMEMBER AND NEVER FORGET.