180 years ago today, on March 6th 1836, the brave Texans at the Alamo made their last stand against General Santa Anna. The 187 brave fighters stood their ground, outgunned and outmanned by the Napoleon of the West, Santa Anna. There were no survivors on the Texan side.
This day was a turning point in the Texas Revolution; hardly a month later, General Sam Houston defeated Santa Anna at the Battle of San Jacinto. This would not have been possible without the Alamo. Not only did less than 200 Texans kill about 600 Mexicans in that stand, delaying and depleting Mexican forces, but the defeat turned the tide for the Texans, as news of Santa Anna’s brutality and the heroism of the fallen Texans spurred new waves of reinforcements for Houston.
I remember the Alamo for many reasons. While the Come and Take it flag was not at the Alamo, it was at the Battle of Gonzales, the first battle in the same revolution. Listeners of the show know what the phrase “Come and Take it” means to me – it is similar to Live free or die. It means I’ll stand my ground for my rights, come hell or high water. The Alamo is a historical embodiment of that attitude.
We remember the Alamo because nothing comes free. There is a cost to everything, and the heroes of the Alamo remind us that they paid the ultimate price. It’s a reminder that while we likely won’t have to make that sacrifice, we should not take for granted the sacrifices made in our history.
The Alamo is a reminder of unity. White settlers and some Tejanos of Mexican descent died for Texan independence. They died together fighting side by side. Remembering this as a multicultural event is important in light of the anti-immigrant rhetoric floating around these days.
Remember the Alamo today. Reflect on your freedoms. Don’t take them for granted. Reflect on what’s important to you, what you would fight for. Reflect on the unity that built this country.