Remember the Alamo
There are several military history spots in the United States and abroad that are so essential to the soul of America and Americans that the name alone evokes powerful feelings. Normandy, Gettysburg, Pearl Harbor, Lexington and Concord, and the Alamo are a few examples. These important battles highlight American resistance, bravery, and determination.
What is interesting about the Alamo is not only does it hold special importance for all Americans, but it is especially sacred for Texans, and for the city of San Antonio. The southwest Texas city named its sports arena after the location and countless other businesses have done the same.
The Alamo is not an overrated tourist sight
Some when they travel think places like the Alamo might be “cheesy” or an overly tourist spot just because so much has been written and detailed about the place in various media outlets. I was told before visiting not to expect much from the location. This is probably from someone who had such incredible expectations of the place that reality was bound to be deflating.
I am interested in history, and I am also fascinated with people. Therefore, the Alamo was one of the first places I wanted to see in Texas outside of Big Bend National Park. I wanted to learn more about the history, and I wanted to understand people from Texas better since I know that it holds such importance to this proud state. I knew if I learned even a little bit about both aspects that the trip would not be a disappointment.
This feeling was vindicated a couple days later in Big Bend National Park. I was talking to Scott from Houston at Emory Peak who attended Sam Houston State University. He said I should visit San Jacinto to see the battlefield where Sam Houston gave Santa Anna hell for what he did at the Alamo. Scott beamed when he talked about the greatness of Sam Houston.
Running for cover
I was not disappointed by my Alamo experience at all. The only problem I had was it rained, and I did not bring my slicker. I felt rather inadequate for hiding in the inside portions of the exhibit, which is noted for the extreme bravery of its defenders.
Price is right
The first pleasant surprise was the price. There is no charge to visit the Alamo. For a tourist place so touted as the Alamo, this is fantastic. I felt compelled to buy the $7.00 audio tour just because I felt like I should contribute in some way. The guided tour is $15.00.
Two hours later after my audio tour was over, I left with a better understanding of the Alamo, the Texas War of Independence, and Texas in general. Here are some tidbits I found especially interesting that I did not know beforehand.
Historical notes of interest
- The battle of the Alamo was actually the second battle that took place there. The Texas army previously approached the city and General Santa Anna’s brother-in-law, Martín Perfecto de Cos surrendered without a fight. The Texans allowed all captured Mexican soldiers to leave peacefully.
- My name is Ted Nelson, but my given name is Edward. There was an Edward Nelson from South Carolina who was one of the 150 soldiers killed on the Texas side at the Alamo.
- 150 people were killed on the American/Texas side. Those that surrendered were killed instead of being taken prisoner. The Alamo was on March 6, 1836. Two weeks later, a bigger massacre took place in Goliad when under Colonel James Fannin a Texas force surrendered to Mexican forces thinking they would receive clemency. They were treated as pirates and executed: 342 men were killed. Colonel Fannin had to endure seeing his troops killed. He requested his belongings be sent to his family, shot in the heart and not in the face, and receive a Christian burial. He was shot in the face.
- The roots of the Texas War of Independence began with an immigration problem. The Mexican government invited Americans/Texans to colonize the area and gave special treatment. Many more Americans took up the offer and flooded the country and the Mexican government feared they could not control this new contingent.
- I recommend the audio tour. It is only $7.00 and that is the only fee you have to pay. The money goes to the upkeep of the facility, so it goes to a good cause.
- I parked on the street only two blocks away. I paid 30 cents an hour for the meter parking near the intersection of Bonham and Bowie on 4th street. It is just down from the Days Inn. There is also a lot that charges $5.00 a block away on third.
- Unfortunately, no photography inside the exhibit.
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