The great state of Texas is known for a lot of things. The tag that seems to follow us Texans around is the one about being braggarts of who we are and where we live. But like Dizzy Dean said, “It ain’t braggin’ if you can do it.” Just kidding, but Texas is a special place and one that has definite bragging rights to some things.
For instance, the first domed stadium is in Houston – The Astrodome, of course, which also was the first place that artificial turf was used.
Who could forget our favorite sports sons Nolan Ryan and Tom Landry? And, of course, there is the distinct Texas Longhorn cattle. Need I mention NASA’s Johnson Space Center – I could stop here, but there are also some US Presidents that hail from Texas. Lyndon Johnson, Bush I & II and Dwight Eisenhower, from Kansas, but born in Texas.
Texas has just celebrated the 178th anniversary of winning independence from Mexico. And one thing Texans are certainly proud of is the rich history of how the state came to be. As always happens, it took a war of independence to gain freedom from Mexico in 1836. It lasted little more than 6 months, but some very famous men and battles came from those stressful days.
The person we would call the “bad guy” in the Texan’s struggle for independence was General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna. He had stepped down from the presidency to lead the Mexican army against the rebellious Texans, being certain of quick victory.
But…along the way he ran into some Texans that wouldn’t give up and knew that freedom was worth putting one’s life on the line.
Probably the most famous battle of the Texas Revolution is called The Battle of the Alamo. Santa Anna led 1500 Mexican troops against less than 200 Texan defenders, behind the adobe walls of a Spanish mission in San Antonio. It took 13 days and the loss of approximately one third of the Mexican regiment to overcome and slaughter all the soldiers defending the Alamo.
Among the dead Texan heroes were Colonel William Barret Travis, Kentucky transplant, Colonel Jim Bowie, and Tennessean Davy Crockett and his men.
General Santa Anna became even more despised by Texas fighters because after the Alamo fell and all of the defenders were killed, their bodies were burned in one large, disrespectful bonfire. Those ashes were later placed in a burial container and buried in an unmarked grave in a peach orchard.
The battle that ended the fighting and sent the Mexican forces home was an 18 minute fight at The Battle of San Jacinto, led by Texas legend, General Sam Houston. The battle cry that day was “Remember the Alamo!” This was a surprise attack by Houston that resulted in 630 Mexican soldiers killed and over 700 captured, which included General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna. Only 9 Texans were lost in the short confrontation.
Treaties were signed and this eventually led to the founding of the Republic of Texas. Santa Anna was allowed to return to Mexico and skirmishes continued between Texas and Mexico into the 1840’s and did not fully end until Texas joined the United States and Mexico was defeated in the Mexican-American War.
It seems this scenario is played out differently, but the same throughout all of history. It’s the sad story of the human race. It’s the story of dissatisfaction, of greed and desire for power and control. And it is the story of those that are under tyranny desiring to experience freedom for themselves and their loved ones.
Jesus said it very plainly in Matthew 24:6 “You will hear of wars and rumors of war…” and certainly we have seen our share. Since 1945 there have been an average of 12 wars occurring every day somewhere on our planet. The struggle continues and Americans still believe freedom is worth the struggle.
So, yes us Texicans, as the fighters were called in that day, are proud of our rich heritage. We can get loud and braggadocios sometimes. But if you can see past all that, you will know that Texans’ hearts are as big as the Lone Star State and we ain’t necessarily tryin’ to brag (to put it in the vernacular), just stating the facts. We are proud to be Texan and we invite you to come and enjoy our great state also.