A call for the remembrance of true heroism
by Dave Verret
I have walked the hallowed ground where the remains of the Alamo stand in central San Antonio. The first time was on the occasion of my first “Day Pass” as a Basic Airman in the United States Air Force in 1968. I remember thinking naively to myself, as I looked at the old mission, now surrounded by busy streets and high rise buildings, “This looks nothing like the movie.” I have gone back several times since, with my appreciation growing deeper each time. Sadly, I think what most of us know about the Alamo is what we’ve seen on TV or the movies. It is my desire to change that perception. What happened THEN, and what application is there NOW?
March 6 marks the anniversary of the fall of the Alamo back in 1836. For more than 13 days, 186 brave and determined patriots withstood Santa Anna’s seasoned army of over 4,000 troops. To a man, the defenders of that mission fort knew they would never leave there alive. They had several opportunities to leave and live. This was the place of the or original “line in the sand.” Yet, they chose to fight and die. How foolish they must look to today’s generation of spoiled Americans.
It is difficult to recall that stouthearted men such as David Crockett (a nationally known frontiersman and former congressman, who, when faced with what he thought was an overreaching and irresponsible Congress said, “Congress can go to hell. I’m going to Texas”); Will Travis (only 23 years old with a little baby at home); and Jim Bowie (a wealthy landowner with properties on both sides of the Rio Grande) really existed. These were real men with real dreams and real desires. Real blood flowed through their veins. They loved their families and treasured and enjoyed life as much as any of us do. There was something different about them, however. They possessed a commitment to liberty that transcended personal safety and comfort.
Liberty is an easy word to say, but it is a hard word to live up to. Freedom has little to do with financial gain or personal pleasure. Accompanying Freedom is her constant and ever unpopular growing companion, Responsibility. Neither is Freedom an only child. Patriotism and Morality are her sisters. They are inseparable: destroy one and all will die.
Early in the siege, Travis wrote these words to the people of Texas:“Fellow Citizens & Compatriots: I am besieged by a thousand or more of the Mexicans under Santa Anna. . . . The enemy has demanded a surrender at discretion, otherwise the garrison are to be put to the sword . . . I have answered the demand with a cannon shot & our flag still waves proudly from the walls. I shall never surrender or retreat. . . . VICTORY OR DEATH! P.S. The Lord is on our side.”
As you read those words, remember that Travis and the others did not have the ACLU, SEIU, SDS, AFL-CIO, People for the un-American Way, and the National Education Association telling them how intolerant and narrow-minded their notions of honor and patriotism were. A biased media did not constantly castigate them as a bunch of wild-eyed extremists. As schoolchildren, they were NOT taught that their forefathers were nothing more than racist, Deist slave owners.
The brave men at the Alamo labored under the belief that America (and Texas) really was “the land of the free and the home of the brave.” They believed God was on their side and that the freedom of future generations depended on their courage and resolve. They further believed their posterity would remember their sacrifice as an act of love and devotion. That legacy is anemic, if not fading from memory altogether today.
By today’s standards, the gallant men of the Alamo appear rather foolish. After all, they had NO chance of winning–none. However, the call for pragmatism and practicality was never sounded. Instead, they answered the clarion call, “Victory or death!”
Please try to remember the heroes of the Alamo as you watch our gutless political and religious leaders surrender to globalism, multi-culturalism, State-capitalism, and political correctness. Try to recall the time in this country when ordinary men and women had the courage of their convictions and were willing to sacrifice their lives for freedom and independence. I would have to go back to the bloody beaches of Normandy…and yes, to the Alamo.
One thing is certain: those courageous champions at the Alamo did not die for a political party or for some “bipartisan”mantra. They fought and died for a principle, and that principle was liberty and independence. So did the men at Lexington and Concord. That is our heritage.
There are many threats surrounding us today. There is the Southern border question; our national debt; a lack of trust in our politicians AND each other; two wars; the threat of terrorism; the effects of political correctness; Islamic extremism; a financial black hole and even enemies within, some of whom I’ve named above. There are forces in the world that want to take America, Capitalism and the Western way of life down. These forces are NOT in some far away place. This tide has already washed upon our shores. I believe that America could survive one of these threats, or maybe two or even three. But, taken together and all at the same time, given the lack of national will, morality and treasury, I can only stand here and reply with a single cannon shot. I am to the point of agreeing with David Crockett. “Congress can go to hell.” But where do I and other like minded patriots go? Where is the line in the sand? Who will draw it? And who will stand against these forces, even though we are so outnumbered?
I close with one last question. Do the Alamo’s defender’s look foolish, or do we?
Remember the Alamo.
Dave Verret is a contributing writer for the Grassroot Institute of Hawaii.