The issue: The 176th anniversary of the adoption of the Texas Declaration of Independence takes place March 2, formally celebrated as Texas Independence Day.
We say: Remember the courage of those at Goliad, The Alamo, San Jacinto and at Washington-on-the-Brazos. We say Remember Texas.
The nights are cold this time of year in Texas. But, 176 years ago our forefathers spent 13 days huddled inside a crumbling adobe mission with no heat defending the future of Texas from a dictator, namely Gen. Antonio López de Santa Anna.
His Mexican troops entered San Antonio on Feb. 21, 1836, and Texans held up in the The Alamo were under artillery fire. There was to be no quarter offered to the "Texians."
While a delegation was rapidly crafting a Texas Declaration of Independence at Washington-on-the-Brazos, revered men like Jim Bowie, Davy Crockett and William Barret Travis and about 150-250 others – an all-volunteer force of men – were outnumbered by more than 10-to-1, attempting to secure the life of Texas in a hopeless battle against a better trained, better equipped Mexican army.
We Texans hear words like honor and valor and reflect on these men and the others in Texas' battle for independence. We ask that Texans pause during this time to consider the sacrifice of these early Texans, some who never knew a free republic.
Specifically pause March 6 to remember the fall of The Alamo, and March 27 to remember the massacre at Goliad. Then recall April 21, when the Texans under the leadership of Sam Houston, won Texas' independence at San Jacinto.
Why remember? Just listen to these words coined by Travis at The Alamo, commander at the time he penned this letter:
“To the People of Texas & all Americans in the world,
Fellow citizens & compatriots, I am besieged, by a thousand or more of the Mexicans under Santa Anna. I have sustained a continual bombardment and cannonade for 24 hours and have not lost a man. 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 and 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 and every thing dear to the American character, to come to our aid, with all dispatch. The enemy is receiving reinforcements daily and 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 and die like a soldier who never forgets what is due to his own honor and that of his country.
Victory or Death.”
William Barret Travis
Lt. Col. Comdt.
“P.S. The Lord is on our side. When the enemy appeared in sight we had not three bushels of corn. We have since found in deserted houses 80 or 90 bushels and got into the walls 20 or 30 head of Beeves.”