Remember the Alamo?
“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.”
Those were the last words Lt. Col. William Travis, commander of the men at the Alamo, penned in his letter asking for reinforcements. Days later, Travis, James Bowe, Davy Crockett and the Alamo’s 200 defenders died in a blaze of glory while making their last stand against the Mexican Army under the command of President General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, the self-styled “Napoleon of the West.”
The war cry “Remember the Alamo!” was used by Gen. Sam Houston before winning the Battle of San Jacinto, which won Texas independence from Mexico. It was a noble and honorable sacrifice that shaped the identity of Texas and the United States. People from all around the world have been inspired by the story of what happened at the Alamo.
That history and legacy is under attack.
The city of San Antonio and Texas educators have been working for decades to change the narrative of the Alamo from heroic sacrifice to one of slavery and racial inequality. This effort is now being propelled by a new book that claims the Alamo should be forgotten.
The Alamo is once again a battleground, but this time in the culture wars of American identity.
Forget the Alamo
This summer, three Texas scholars released a book titled Forget the Alamo: The Rise and Fall of an American Myth. Local San Antonio news station ksat reported: “In Forget the Alamo, Chris Tomlinson, Bryan Burrough and Jason Stanford argue that how we view the Alamo’s past has more to do with perpetuating white supremacy than most would care to admit.”
The LA Times summarized the content of the new book by writing: “In truth, the Texas revolt of 1836 wasn’t just about breaking away from foreign rule but also about sustaining the cotton-based economy and system of chattel slavery it required and Mexico wished to abolish.”
The three authors of the book claim, “Bowie was a murderer, slaver and con man; Travis was a pompous, racist agitator and syphilitic lech; and Crockett was a self-promoting old fool,” and the defenders were fools for staying there dying instead of retreating. Their premise is that the white men at the Alamo were fighting to keep the slave trade in Texas, and the battle was more a civil war between Tejanos than freedom for Texas.
The book has been at the center of controversy between educational elites and many Texas historians. This was amplified by the Texas History Museum canceling an event about the new book after Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick put pressure on the group, saying the book was spreading revisionist history.
The book has not been peer-reviewed, and many of its allegations do not have specific proof to support them besides a contemporary interpretation of the historical facts. Bryan Preston at PJ Media wrote:
To date, the authors of that book have faced zero cross-examination from any media in San Antonio or nationally for that matter. One of the authors was challenged to a debate on the book’s claims on social media over the weekend, and after claiming to be oppressed and throwing out snark, he fled. Those who make shocking claims should be able to back them up. But media in San Antonio, the Alamo City, have not required the authors to do so at all.
The city’s elites, media and most Texas educators have been waging a campaign for decades to change the story of the Alamo. This is a strange effort since over 1 million tourists come to San Antonio each year to see what is left of the Alamo battlefield. A Japanese professor even made a memorial for the Alamo in 1914 to honor the men who died there.
Preston pointed out the city’s constant agenda to undermine the Alamo legacy:
[Visitors] also wonder why such a famous site is treated so infamously by the city for which it’s known and named. Today, we find a committee convened in 2014 under Mayor Julian Castro called the Alamo Citizens Advisory. Castro’s own mother is quoted by the New York Times as despising the Alamo and its defenders. That committee is now apparently working on content for the coming exhibits on Alamo Plaza, which is owned by the city but leased to the state through the General Land Office, and it’s having the bulk of its content discussions in meetings that are closed to the public. The city government cuts the video feed when discussions start, but recent topics include pushing a slavery narrative that’s all but irrelevant to the Alamo and had very little to do with the battle and was not the driving issue of the Texas Revolution. And if you go by San Antonio’s media, the city’s elites are all for it. They’re also pushing a “white supremacy” narrative at the Alamo that’s entirely a modern invention.
Nearly all major media outlets in San Antonio had very positive coverage of Forget the Alamo and the city’s plan to push the white supremacy narrative at the site.
The pressure from the elites to change the story of the Alamo is a part of the larger attack on American history. The radical left is seeking to erase history that features heroic white males or demonstrates how the Constitution and idea of American freedom inspired people in a positive way. It is not hard to see why the radical left wants to suppress a story about a group of people fighting against an authoritarian government for freedom.
But there is a more sinister motive at work. Forgetting the Alamo is actually about forgetting God!
The Texas Revolution (1835–1836) was an important moment in the development of America. It not only helped bridge the East and West coasts, it would also eventually create a defensible southern border of the Union. Texas winning independence removed the threat of an aggressive Mexican empire invading the heart of America. It also provided vast reservoirs of oil that would fuel the nation in the next century.
Herbert W. Armstrong proved in The United States and Britain in Prophecy that the Bible prophesied America would become a superpower, possessing unrivaled wealth and power. He wrote:
More than half of all tillable, cultivatable, temperate-zone lands of this Earth came after a.d. 1800 into the possession of our two great powers alone! The rich agricultural lands of the Mississippi Valley; the vast wheat and grain fields of the Midwest … the great forest lands of the Pacific Northwest and many other parts of the world; the gold fields of … Alaska and the United States; the great coal mines of the United States … the natural waterfalls and means of power and consequent prosperous industrial and manufacturing districts of … the eastern United States; the choicest fruit lands of our Pacific Coast and Florida. What other nations combined ever possessed such material wealth?
All these blessings were only possible because God was guiding the development of the United States to fulfill the many promises of the Bible. God provided many miracles and also used men to fulfill these prophecies. These men had flaws, but they also had positive characteristics that were used to build this nation. The Founding Fathers and early leaders of America had the vision of what America could become. Trumpet executive editor Stephen Flurry wrote in “Founded on a Rock”:
Just as the Israelites of old fled from an oppressive Egypt to settle in a new land given unto them by God, so did many of the early colonial settlers flee from religious persecution to the shores of America—a land they claimed to be theirs by God’s divine right. This biblical concept is what Manifest Destiny was all about—a belief that it was God’s will for America to stretch from sea to shining sea—from the Atlantic all the way to the Pacific Ocean.
Fulfilling this vision required sacrifice. The Alamo was one of those sacrifices. The westward expansion was not done perfectly by carnal men, but God was behind it because He was fulfilling Bible prophecies and keeping His promise to the patriarch Abraham.
When this history is degenerated and vilified, it is actually an attack on God’s history with America. Stories like the Alamo should make us realize the divine intervention needed to make the blessings of the United States possible.
The Alamo is a story of courage and sacrifice that has inspired generations of people around the world. As Preston said, “[T]he Alamo’s narrative [is] that 189-odd Texians and Tejanos fought to the death against the brutal tyrant Santa Anna. That narrative is true, by the way. The Alamo defenders really did that. They died for it and their bodies were burned on pyres to warn the other revolutionaries. Santa Anna really was a tyrant who committed multiple massacres, killing about 5,000 Mexicans at Zacatecas in 1835 to name just one of them.”
The men at the Alamo had flaws, but their example of courage should inspire us in this modern age of fear and cowardice.
A Fighting Spirit
Soon after the War for Texas Independence began in late 1835, a small group of volunteers led by James Bowie captured the Alamo. In February 1836, Lt. Col. William Travis arrived with reinforcements and took command. Famous frontiersman and former Congressman Davy Crockett arrived around the same time with 12 volunteers from Tennessee.
The garrison had between 150 and 200 men. U.S. General in Chief Sam Houston wanted the fort to be abandoned, but Travis insisted on maintaining the fort at all costs. General Santa Anna brought between 1,800 and 6,000 Mexican troops. When the Mexican Army arrived, Travis sent several men to sneak through enemy lines to deliver his famous letter:
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.
He signed the letter “Victory or Death.” One of the messengers, James Butler Bonham, rode 95 miles to the nearest friendly troops to ask for reinforcements. When he was told none could be spared, Bonham rode back to the Alamo, fought through the Mexican lines, and rejoined the defenders to fight to the death.
The last known letter Travis wrote was sent to David Ayers: “Take care of my little boy. If the country should be saved, I may make for him a splendid fortune; but if the country be lost and I should perish, he will have nothing but the proud recollection that he is the son of a man who died for his country.”
James Bowie was bedridden and delirious when the Mexican troops stormed the Alamo. Bowie was a slave trader and an opportunistic land owner with questionable character, but he did conduct himself bravely during the revolution. Legend has it Travis made a line in the sand, allowing the men at the Alamo to decide if they would stay and fight with him. Bowie asked for his bed to be carried over the line.
Davy Crockett was famous for his adventures on the American frontier. He was a militia man who fought in several wars and was also a U.S. congressman. It is a testament to his character that a former politician would voluntarily go to Texas to fight in the revolution.
All of the defenders, Americans and Tejanos, fought to make Texas a free republic.
Six weeks later at the Battle of San Jacinto, Sam Houston led the Texan army to victory over Santa Anna, capturing the president general and securing freedom for Texas. The battle cry was “Remember the Alamo!” One of the heroes of the battle, William Mosby Eastland, was captured in Mexico seven years later during a raid into Mexican territory. Just before his execution, Eastland confided to a fellow prisoner: “For my country I have offered all my earthly aspiration and for it I now lay down my life. I never have feared death nor do I now. For my unjustifiable execution I wish no revenge, but die in full confidence of the Christian faith.”
What a stark difference between the courage and fighting spirit these men had and the spirit of fear and cowardice today. The coronavirus lockdowns, the expanding nanny state, and our leaders’ complete aversion to confronting evil expose the rampant cowardice in America. As a result, more and more freedoms are being stripped away. It is very rare to find a leader who has courage.
In a 1998 Trumpet article titled “A Nation of Cowards,” Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry wrote:
We gained our freedom through much bloodshed and courage. And our freedom cannot be sustained by cowards. We can easily deceive ourselves. But our enemies know the truth and will one day soon put us to the test!
The further we get from God, the more cowardly we become. The closer we are to God, the more we manifest courage.
The Alamo should be celebrated and honored. The Alamo should be taught to our young people so they can learn why it is important to have courage. The Alamo should point people back to God so we can have more courage to face the trials of the future.
Remember the Alamo!
The culture war over American history and identity is actually an attempt to blot out the name of America. Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry explains in Great Again that the real author of these attacks is Satan, and his goal is to blot out Israel:
Do you believe the United States of America has been mainly a positive force in the world for most of its history? …
If you do, then surely you are deeply alarmed by the state of America today!
All of these pillars of American history and identity are being vilified and destroyed. America’s educators are teaching oncoming generations to be embarrassed by them. Even the nation’s leaders see them as shameful. On many foundational issues, they share the views of America’s worst enemies!
The Alamo is once again a battleground. These attacks on American history have the ultimate goal of separating Americans from God, which will make us more cowardly. It takes real courage to go against the tide of society and seek God. True freedom can only come by having the courage to actually obey God and the Bible. Remember the Alamo, and remember God.