As we head into Christmas, let us never forget what Christmas is all about. It is about the greatest gift that God gave unto us all, His only begotten Son, according to John 3:16. He gave us the gift of eternal life, a means of personal reconciliation, salvation, for the sin that entered into the world He created. However, as Texans, as Americans, let us not forget that the greatest gift that we can pass onto our subsequent generations is the gift of freedom, liberty.
See, Seguin, Texas — where I am visiting today — is named after a young man, Juan Seguin, who 26-year-old Lieutenant Colonel William Barret Travis selected to deliver a letter to Sam Houston from The Alamo. The letter, dated February 24, 1836, clearly articulates the gift that Travis and the other 184 men who sacrificed their lives at The Alamo left for us, for Texans. If I could, I would take this letter, wrap it up, and give it to every little child I meet on this day. I would ask parents, grandparents, and relatives to read that letter with their children, as it is a forever gift from almost 184 years ago.
I give you this gift, and humbly ask that you share it with your children and grandchildren, nieces and nephews. Let them know that on this Christmas Day, and every day, the greatest gift is not just a toy — which provides immediate, and temporary joy — but, the greatest gift is the gift of freedom, which is not synonymous with receiving free stuff, however, the cost is certainly not free.
The Wise Men followed the Star that led them to the baby Jesus, Who sacrificed for our eternal freedom. Men and women have followed the Lone Star of Texas because of the sacrifice of men who have given us this grand place of freedom, and liberty. Let us hold Texas!
Commandancy of The Alamo
Bejar, Feby. 24th. 1836
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 & cannonade for 24 hours & 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, & 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 & everything 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 Barrett 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.