Tag: The Alamo

A Warrior’s Valentine

“Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I. Send me!” — Isaiah 6:8 (NIV) 

“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” — John 15:13 (NIV)

Greetings y’all, and a Happy Valentine’s Day to you! Now fellas, just know that today ain’t about us, and I pray you guys didn’t blow it and forget. One of the things that I hate about Valentine’s Day is that it happens during winter. So, guys, if you get put out into the “doghouse,” well, take extra blankets. Today is the day when we ask that question, “will you be my Valentine?” We send flowers, chocolates, and other gifts to that special one that we love.

There are many stories about the origin of Valentine’s Day and St. Valentine, so I went to the History Channel online:

“The history of Valentine’s Day–and the story of its patron saint–is shrouded in mystery. We do know that February has long been celebrated as a month of romance and that St. Valentine’s Day, as we know it today, contains vestiges of both Christian and ancient Roman tradition. But who was Saint Valentine, and how did he become associated with this ancient rite?

The Catholic Church recognizes at least three different saints named Valentine or Valentinus, all of whom were martyred. One legend contends that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine’s actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death. Still others insist that it was Saint Valentine of Terni, a bishop, who was the true namesake of the holiday. He, too, was beheaded by Claudius II outside Rome.  

Other stories suggest that Valentine may have been killed for attempting to help Christians escape harsh Roman prisons, where they were often beaten and tortured. According to one legend, an imprisoned Valentine actually sent the first “valentine” greeting himself after he fell in love with a young girl–possibly his jailor’s daughter–who visited him during his confinement. Before his death, it is alleged that he wrote her a letter signed “From your Valentine,” an expression that is still in use today. Although the truth behind the Valentine legends is murky, the stories all emphasize his appeal as a sympathetic, heroic and–most importantly–romantic figure.”

If there is one theme that is consistent between these three versions of the story of Valentine, it is one of personal sacrifice. I think that is the true lesson of this day. It is not about the gifts, flowers, candies, or niceties bestowed, it is about what true love is all about: personal sacrifice.

That is why this missive is titled “A Warriors Valentine.” The Bible verses I shared at the beginning provide us a clear understanding of those who through the years have been willing to make “the last full measure of devotion,” love, for us to live in this great nation, America . . . and in this great State of Texas. When you consider all of those who have done as Isaiah stated, “Here am I, send me,” it should bring tears to our eyes. Truly, as Jesus said in John 15:13, there is no greater love than that of one person willing to lay down their lives for another.

When I think about being an American, I will never forget those men, Patriots, who took up the firing line at Lexington Green on April 19, 1775. They did not have to do it, but when they answered to call of arms for liberty and freedom and gave their lives. Their sacrifice enables us to be in this great land, 245 years later. Sadly, we may need a new generation of Patriots, men and women, willing to lay down their lives as we face a modern tyranny in our America . . . one that also seeks to disarm us, make us subjects.

If there's one theme in the story of #Valentine, it's personal sacrifice. That's the true lesson of this day, not gifts, flowers, or candies. It's what true #love is all about: personal sacrifice. #ValentinesDay Click To Tweet

Here in Texas, my home, in the place where I retired from the US Army back in 2004, I am reminded of true love. It was the love that began at a place called Gonzales with the defiant act of “Come and Take It.” It was a love of a 26-year-old who wrote a special “love letter” on February 24, 1836, which spoke of his duty, honor, and will to sacrifice all, as he led 185 men for 13 days at a place called The Alamo. It is the love of a man from Tennessee who came here — like many others — and fell in love with this Texas. He led a starving, ragtag group of men against a well-armed Mexican Army and a maniacal, murderous dictator named Santa Anna, to a resounding 18 minute victory at a place called San Jacinto on April 21, 1836.

Today we give our loved ones red roses, they gave us their red blood.

During the fight for Texas’ independence, there were men who followed the Lone Star to this grand and expansive land that we call home. Just as I was born and raised in Georgia and attended the University of Tennessee, so did men from Georgia, like Mirabeau Lamar, and Tennessee, like another former member of Congress, Davy Crockett, find themselves here, in Texas. And today, others are drawn here to Texas for the opportunities and its embracing of rugged individualism. Virginia may claim that it is for “lovers,” but Texas is a place that we love, and am I first among those making that claim. Why do I love Texas? Because it is a place that loves liberty, freedom, and raises warriors and victors . . . not victims.

Happy Valentine’s Day to two of my true loves, America, and my home, Texas. You cannot have one, without the other as they are truly complementary. At this time, America and Texas are looking for those who do indeed love them, and as John 15:13 states, willing to lay down their lives for them.

That is the lesson, theme, of Valentine’s Day: personal sacrifice, and that is why this is, and always shall be, a warrior’s Valentine!

A Texas-Sized Christmas

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.
Travis

Lt. Gov. Patrick Releases Statement on Alamo “Redesign”

Regular readers of the Old School Patriot Memo will note we have extensively covered the plan to move the historic Alamo cenotaph, along with plans to redesign the historic site.

Now, in the very latest in this unfolding saga, Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, has released this statement:

 

Statement of Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick regarding the proposed Alamo cenotaph

This is an evolving issue, and we will keep you updated as information is made known. Thanks to the many Old School Patriots who spoke out and spoke up on this issue!

Photo credit: David R. Tribble

ALAMO CENOTAPH UPDATE: Good News, Bad News

Greetings, ladies, and gents, from College Station, Texas, as my week-long journey continues throughout the Lone Star State. Today I will hit the road and spend time in San Antonio and in Banderas, addressing more Conservative Republican organizations. There is a rallying cry going out across Texas, and true Texas Patriots are answering that call. It is no different from 184 years ago when Texans heard about the defiant stance and message from Gonzales, Texas, that resonates to this day: “Come and Take It.”

That is part of the Texas history that we must pass onto future generations. It is a history that we here in Texas must pass onto those new arrivals so that they realize just how special, unique, and distinct this place, Texas, truly is. It is disconcerting to me on so many levels that we find ourselves trying to not just educate on Texas history . . . but actually we are in a battle to preserve it.

I have shared with you previously about the endeavor of some to remove the term “heroic” from Texas State history books as a description of the defenders on the Alamo. We have told you about the insidious effort by the progressive socialist social justice chuckleheads to rename the capital city of Texas from Austin…after the founding father of Texas, Stephen F. Austin. And most recently we have shared the story about the San Antonio City Council, along with Texas General Land Office (GLO) Commissioner, George P. Bush, Jeb Bush’s son, to move The Cenotaph monument to The Alamo defenders away from The Alamo site.

Now, I have some good news to share, but it is accompanied by some incredibly disturbing news as well. There are times when you just have to say, YGTBSM, as what has been uncovered, I pray it is a rumor and not actual truth, is unnerving.

As shared via email by the Save The Alamo Committee:

GEORGE P. BUSH TO PLACE STATUE OF SANTA ANNA AT THE ALAMO

We bought a temporary delay on Wednesday, December 4, when, after hearing vociferous testimony in opposition, the San Antonio Historic Design and Review Commission reversed themselves and voted 8 to 3 against granting the Building Permit for the removal of the Alamo Cenotaph. This result (largely due to our Lawsuit) was totally unprecedented and well nigh miraculous—the first time we have ever been successful in getting a State or City bureaucracy to reverse course and vote against the Bush Reimagine Plan. The first time we’ve drawn blood. There is to be another hearing by this Commission in one week. You can be certain that the members of the Commission will receive tremendous pressure from the Council Members who appointed them to support the building permit this time. More on this later.

However, during that hearing, it was revealed that not only do George P. Bush and the GLO intend on moving the Cenotaph outside the boundaries of the Alamo; they also intend to erect a statue of the dictator Santa Anna and a memorial honoring the Mexican Army! I am not making this up. We know that parts of the Bush plan were going to be horrendous, but it now looks like it will be worse than we ever dreamed.

Please redouble your efforts to assist with the lawsuit. That is the only way that this travesty will be permanently stopped. In all frankness I must tell you that up to now right at 200 people have carried the entire financial burden of this fight—almost exactly the size of the original Alamo garrison. That is outrageous. Where are the thousands of the rest of you who claim that you care and yet have not contributed one thin dime? Make no mistake, we will continue this struggle to the very end—with or without you.

We were always incredulous that the people of Texas could have let so few be the only ones to try and defend the Alamo in 1836. Well, it appears that history really does repeat itself. Just please do not have the gall to ever call yourselves Texans again if you continue to do nothing. If you continue to just stand by and watch George P. Bush desecrate the Alamo.
However, if you truly do care, we need you to join the army now. And that means send ammunition for the Battle in whatever amount. Waging war costs money, and this is war.

-Rick Range

P.S.—On December 18 the San Antonio Historic Design and Review Commission will be meeting at 1901 South Alamo Street to reconsider the granting of the Building Permit to move the Alamo Cenotaph. The last hearing was held at 3:00 P.M. They have not posted the time for this one as yet. We will alert you just as soon as the time is set. We need the largest crowd possible in attendance in order to get them to deny the permit once again. Please go if at all possible and take some other people with you. We must turn out for this hearing in even greater force than the last one. It is essential that we buy this critical time until we can get this case heard in Court in January.

For current updates, please visit our Facebook page.

Yes, upon reading this I became irate, and incredulous. This is no different from moving the Pearl Harbor Memorial from the USS Arizona to someplace on land and erecting a statue to Imperial Japanese Emperor Hirohito or Hideki Tojo at the same site. What level of insanity would drive anyone residing in Texas to do this? Again, I am praying that this is just a rumor, but this email was sent out by people who were at the hearing conducted.

I know that UNESCO has designated The Alamo as a world-historic site. It is a Texas historic site. Anyone entertaining the idea of erecting a statue to the tyrannical and murderous Mexican dictator, General Santa Anna, who commanded that every defender at The Alamo be slaughtered, and their bodies thrown into piles and set aflame, is abjectly delusional, and should not hold an elected position in the Lone Star State of Texas.

Furthermore, any Texas elected official not enraged by the offensive effort should be removed from office. I do not say these words without serious contemplation, but I am sick of this leftist revisionist history. These men we honor with The Cenotaph fought so that we could live here, in Texas. Santa Anna brutally murdered these defenders, including Colonel Fannin and his troops at La Bahia, also known as Goliad. Who, in their obviously deranged mind, would consider erecting a statue to such evil, in Texas? Yet, we have these progressive socialists who wish to destroy any and all monuments of our history known as the Civil War.

Yes, many of those whose monuments the left wishes to tear down fought for the United States in the Mexican War to ensure our growing United States of America was no longer threatened by Mexican incursions. Sounds familiar when you consider the incursions of the drug cartels.

The Wednesday before Thanksgiving I had the honor of guest hosting the Mark Davis radio show. During one of the segments, I talked about the issue with The Cenotaph. I have been contacted by many supporting this monument not being removed, and we shall indeed have a rally at The Alamo on March 6th, 2020 . . . 184 years after the fall of The Alamo. I want you true Texas Patriots to mark that date, and we shall indeed honor those heroic defenders who earned a distinguished place in Texas, and American history. I firmly state, The Cenotaph had best be in the very same spot as it is right now.

This is unconscionable, intolerable, and truly insufferable.

Remember The Alamo!

Revisionist History Has Come to Texas

I love studying history, and there is a quote attributed to one George Santayana, circa 1928, that states, “those who fail to learn from history, are doomed to repeat it.”

I find the revisionist history endeavors of the progressive socialist left in America utterly offensive, and imbecilic. It is amazing to me — but, it is intentional — that many of our schools do not instruct our future generations on such fundamentals as the Declaration of Independence and our US Constitution. It is because of this wholesale campaign by the left in America, including the insidious 1619 Project of the NY Times, why we find ourselves dumbed down as a nation, incapable of knowing our own rule of law. As one Barry Soetoro once proclaimed, “we are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America.” Sadly, mindless lemmings cheered and roared as their indoctrinated and non-functioning brains had no idea about what this charlatan spoke . . . nor possessed the intellectual rigor to question.

Unfortunately, the left’s campaign to rewrite history, and revise it, based upon their ideological agenda, has landed in the Lone Star State of Texas.

It was just last year, in September, that the Texas State Board of Education had to call for an emergency session. Why? Because some chucklehead came up with the idea to remove the reference of “heroic” for the defenders of The Alamo from Texas history books. Yes, generations of young Texans were to be taught that the defenders of The Alamo were not heroic!

Think about it: one of the great, and, indeed, heroic stands in military history, 185 men holding against thousands for thirteen days was to be denigrated by some safe-space triggered leftist.

Now, having been born and raised in Georgia, a graduate of the University of Tennessee, a former member of Congress, and a career military officer who retired from Ft. Hood, Texas, and now calls Texas my home . . . this is, well, quite personal.

Jim Bowie’s life began in Georgia, there were many Tennessee Volunteers at The Alamo . . . one was also a former member of the US House of Representatives. I now serve in the Texas State Guard whose early origins pre-dates the Texian revolution.

How absurd. Then again, how typical of these leftists to take over local school boards and come up with this nonsense. But, now, we are facing an even greater threat, disrespect, disregard, and denigration of those 185 men who heroically defended The Alamo. Let me explain.

“The word cenotaph is derived from the Greek kenos taphos, meaning “empty tomb.” A cenotaph is a monument, sometimes in the form of a tomb, to a person or group of persons buried elsewhere. Ancient Greek writings tell of many cenotaphs, although none of them survives.”

For those of you who do not know the story of The Alamo, shame on you if you live in Texas, and the entire nation needs to know. The Mexican Army under General Santa Anna flew the black flag — meaning no quarter given to the defenders of The Alamo — they would be slaughtered to the last. Davy Crockett is reported to have been the last man bayoneted to death at The Alamo on that early Sunday morning in April of 1836. The bodies of all the Alamo defenders were then piled up and set afire, no graves, no markers, no memorial. Today, at The Alamo in San Antonio de Bexar, there is a cenotaph as a remembrance to those men, whom we must never forget in the annals of Texas history, Texas greatness.

But, for some, it is just nothing more than something to be moved, relocated, in order to be a part of city planning. Doggone disgusting, and truly disconcerting. I must ask, what manner of coward would allow something like this to go forward? Trust me, I would say that to the face of those responsible for this happening.

As reported by the Rivard Report:

“Work is set to begin over the next few months on the first phase of the Alamo site redesign, involving moving the Cenotaph monument to the Alamo defenders to its new location near the Menger Hotel. The Cenotaph, designed by Italian sculptor Pompeo Coppini and built in 1936, commemorates the Texian revolutionaries killed in the 1836 battle defending the Alamo from the Mexican Army.

As part of the $450 million redevelopment of the historic battle site and surrounding plaza, Philadelphia-area engineering firm CVM Professional will deconstruct the Cenotaph and reassemble it less than 500 feet to the south. In the new location, a bandstand currently sits in a shady grove of live oaks. The City’s Parks and Recreation Department is working to relocate the bandstand, officials said.

“What you’re seeing in this first phase is really the delineation, the creation of this new civic space,” said Doug McDonald, CEO of the Alamo Trust, in an interview Monday. 

Alamo Trust is the nonprofit set up by the Texas General Land Office (headed by George P. Bush, Jeb Bush’s son) that manages the Alamo.

Also included in the first phase is the new Fiesta parade route and a “free speech zone” that promoters of the redesign say will incorporate the ways people have historically used Alamo Plaza. 

“There’s a promise we made to the Alamo Citizens Advisory Committee … to tell a more complete story, to be inclusive of all the stories in this area,” said Councilman Roberto Trevino (D1), one of the committee’s three chairs.

“We are going to be more inclusive of different layers of history.”

Funding for the first phase will come out of the $38 million the City of San Antonio has committed to the Alamo redesign. To restore and relocate the Cenotaph the City and Alamo Trust have retained CVM, which has experience moving the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia and restoring the Washington Monument in Baltimore, among other historic monuments.

Still, many said the Cenotaph should stay where it is. Charisma Villarreal, a Helotes resident who traces her lineage to Alamo defender Jose Gregorio Esparza, said moving the structure will detract from the meaning Coppini intended with his placement of the monument.

“The fact that they’re moving it away from the Alamo, it’s not going to have the same meaning,” Villareal said. “Those stone faces are not going to be looking on the Alamo; they’re going to be looking at the Menger (hotel).”

First of all, imagine if there was an attempt to relocate the Washington Monument? Heck, I might be careful as some leftist will deem that an appropriate idea, or just tear it down completely. If this were a matter of renovation and restoration, I do not believe there would be any concern or resistance. However, we are talking about moving the cenotaph away from the very site for which it was intended to honor.

As the Greek definition and tradition articulates, in keeping with that theme, the monument, cenotaph, to Spartan King Leonidas and his 300 Spartans who defended the narrow pass at the Battle of Thermopylae, circa 490BC,  is not located back on the Peloponnese or in Sparta proper. No, it is located at the site where they made their stand against an overwhelming invasion force of the Persians under Xerxes. It is there that Leonidas’ immortal words to be sent back to Sparta are inscribed at the base of the bronze Spartan warrior, “Go tell the Spartans, and strangers passing by, that here, obedient to their laws we lie.”

That statue is not meant to face a hotel. Neither should The Alamo cenotaph be moved! For what reason?

“Also included in the first phase is the new Fiesta parade route and a “free speech zone” that promoters of the redesign say will incorporate the ways people have historically used Alamo Plaza. 

“There’s a promise we made to the Alamo Citizens Advisory Committee … to tell a more complete story, to be inclusive of all the stories in this area,” said Councilman Roberto Trevino (D1), one of the committee’s three chairs. “We are going to be more inclusive of different layers of history.”

What the heck is this San Antonio City Councilman Trevino talking about, “being more inclusive of different layers of history?” This is the typical leftist mumbo jumbo about revisionist history based upon their inane perspective on being inclusive. Inclusive of all the stories in this area, to tell a more complete story? Excuse me . . . Whiskey-Tango-Foxtrot????

The entire city council of San Antonio needs to be removed, recalled, sent away. Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush needs to have his head examined if he is in charge of the office that has approved this nonsense.

What the heck is happening in Texas? I can answer that, we have allowed the infiltration of a dangerous, poisonous, cancerous ideological mindset to take root. If The cenotaph is moved away from the site where it honors the memory of The Alamo defenders, then we move even closer to allowing a fundamental transformation of Texas.

What next, move the San Jacinto battlefield memorial? How about moving the memorial and remembrance to the men who were massacred, executed at Goliad? Maybe the “Come and Take It” flag and symbol will be designated as an extremist slogan . . . after all, the left did the same with the Gadsden Flag, “Don’t Tread on Me.” And remember, leftists have been talking about renaming the capital of Texas. After all, Stephen F. Austin had slaves. And, what about that massive statue of Tennessean, and first General and President of the Republic of Texas, Sam Houston that is astride I-45 heading south from Huntsville, Texas?

In the Middle East, there is a saying, “never allow the camel to get the nose under the tent, the rest of the body will follow.” We are allowing the progressive socialist leftists to get their nose under the tent and revise our history to talk about being more inclusive of different layers of history and inclusive of all the stories in the area. There is only one story to tell about The Alamo: it is about valor, heroism, and resolve…that is the grit that makes a Texan!

A young fella from the south named William Barret Travis was the commander at The Alamo. He was only 26 when he wrote a letter from The Alamo asserting that he would never surrender and that he would never retreat. He closed his letter describing what it meant to be a soldier, his honor, and the honor of his country. He pledged, “Victory or Death.”

In his, and the memory of those 185, we must now pledge that we shall not surrender or retreat and that we will not allow the cenotaph to be removed. That means henceforth, a massive campaign of calls and emails to Texas Land Commissioner, George P. Bush’s office, as well as the City Council of San Antonio. It means calling the office of the Philadelphia-area engineering firm CVM Professional, and let them know, hands off. It means filing injunctions in court to stop this action.

This must not be allowed to happen, plain and simple. Those who are advancing this foolhardy endeavor shall pay a heavy electoral price. Yes, I will give my all to see to that end.

Victory or Death!

Photo credit: David R. Tribble