As a person who was born and bred in the great state of Texas, I have always carried a deep love in my heart for my native land. And I’ve tried to pass on that same love and respect to my children, all twelve of whom are native-born Texans, as well.
We sing Texas songs and visit Texas landmarks and honor the Texas flag and sow Texas bluebonnets in fields near our home. And we are grateful for Texas heroes whose sacrifices helped make our state what it is today: strong, free, and independent.
Just as we have memorized the immortal words of Patrick Henry (“Give me liberty or give me death!”), Thomas Paine (“These are the times that try men’s souls…”), Thomas Jefferson (“We hold these truths to be self-evident…”), Benjamin Franklin (“We must, indeed, all hang together, or, most assuredly, we shall all hang separately.”) and others who fought for America’s independence in the Revolutionary War, so we have also committed to memory the courageous words of Col. William B. Travis, which he penned at the Alamo on February 24, 1836, during Texas’s War for Independence:
To The People of Texas and All Americans In The World —
February 24, 1836
Fellow citizens & compatriots —
I am beseiged, by a thousand or more of the Mexicans under Santa Anna — I have sustained a continual Bombardment & cannonade for 24 hours and 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, 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. 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
William Barret Travis
Lt. Col. Comdt.
So you can imagine how disappointed and downright disgusted I was to learn that a change to the 7th grade Texas History textbooks has been proposed that would remove Travis’s “Victory or Death” letter and would also strike any language that refers to the valiant defenders of the Alamo as “heroes.”
The State Board of Education is scheduled to meet later this morning (Tuesday, September 11, 2018) in Austin. If you are as concerned about this outright Orwellian war on history as I am, would you please take a minute to call the Texas Education Agency at (512)463-5822 or email Donna Bahorich (the Chair of the State Board of Education) today and register your desire to KEEP THE TRAVIS LETTER AND THE WORDS HERO AND HEROIC in our schoolchildren’s Texas History textbooks?
You may also register your opinion in person by visiting — ironically — the William B. Travis (WBT) State Office Building, 1701 N. Congress, room 1-109, Austin, Texas 78701.
Thanks so much for your help!