It happened 178 years ago last Thursday (March 6).
For more than 13, days some 186 courageous, brave-hearted American patriots withstood an army of over 4,000 seasoned soldiers; yet, last week there was nary a mention of it on the local news or a single headline about it in any newspaper (that I saw).
What was it?
It was the defense of the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas.
After visiting the Alamo several years ago, I was amazed at its smallness. I’d expected a much bigger, more imposing compound. But, as I walked through those rooms and inner courtyard, I realized I was standing on hallowed ground in American history. And, as I read the reason for Colonel William Travis’, Davy Crockett’s, James Bowie’s and 183 other men’s defense of the fort, tears filled my eyes and pride filled my chest — for they were heroic examples of America at her best.
Not only were they defending part of the territory Texas had gained in the Texas Revolution, they were really defending against foreign foes. Like Patrick Henry declared in the 1775 Virginia Convention, they said by their actions "Give me liberty or give me death!" Little did they know that Mexican general Santa Anna had already given orders to his troops that there’d be no prisoners-of-war taken alive once the battle was over.
Thus, in refusing to surrender, those brave men signed their own death warrants. However, their bravery and deaths spurred Texans to later defeat Santa Anna’s army, with their battle cry being "Remember the Alamo!"
During the siege, Col Travis dispatched several couriers to plead for reinforcements and supplies. The most famous one, written on February 24, was addressed "To the People of Texas & All Americans in the World." In it he wrote, "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. The enemy has demanded a surrender…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!" Then, he added "P.S. The Lord is on our side…"
No doubt some would say the outnumbered Alamo defenders were foolish for not surrendering, especially in the face of such insurmountable odds. But, any true defender of freedom knows that freedom is not free and failure to defend her—regardless of the cost—is a blatant contradiction of what America is all about.
Will Travis, a 26-year-old soldier with a baby at home … Davy Crockett, nationally-known frontiersman and former U.S.Congressman from Tennessee … and Jim Bowie, a wealthy landowner with property on both side of the Rio Grande River and creator of a very large knife that now bears his name … epitomized America at her best.
They didn’t have one group telling them how intolerant and narrow-minded they were or another group labeling them a hate group; neither did they have a hostile media calling them a bunch of wild-eyed extremists or racist oppressors of the Mexican people.
And, even if they had, they still would have fought to the death.
Because they were American patriots who loved liberty more than life. They truly believed America was "the land of the free and the home of the brave." The question is "Do we?"
Dear Reader, the freedom of America’s future generations depends upon our courage and resolve. We must protect and defend the freedoms we hold so dear from enemies — both foreign and domestic — or else we shall surely lose them.
Therefore, "Remember the Alamo!" Remember Pearl Harbor and Iwo Jima. Remember the bloody beaches of Normandy and the twin towers of New York on 9/11. Then, do what’s necessary to address the ills within our country — the attempts to lead us into globalism, socialism, humanism, hedonism, etc.—and defend against those who’d destroy us from without.
Away with complacency and apathy! Away with political correctness! Embody that drill we learned in typing class: "Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country." Amen and amen. May God grant us the courage to do what is right.
To contact Bro. Tom or receive his daily e-mail devotional, entitled "Morning Manna," write him at P.O. Box 10614, Fort Smith, AR 72917 or e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.