Posted by on Dec 5, 2011 in Photographs, Sacred Places | 0 comments

It was late morning and the intense Texas sun beat down upon my head as I hurried my way through the streets of San Antonio.  I wanted to squeeze in a visit to the Alamo before I had to leave for the airport.

I only had a vague recollection of the Alamo history, but I immediately felt a reverence for the sacredness of this place as I entered the mission.  The play of sunlight and shadows on the time-etched and battle-scarred bricks and the gnarled old tree in the courtyard lent a surprising air of beauty to the lush, green grounds.  It was as if the once violent energy of the place had made peace with itself.  I felt as though the ghosts of the tenacious young men of the Alamo who fell in that famous battle so long ago had found a quiet serenity for their final resting site.

I walked alongside the vacant, long barracks, feeling the presence of these courageous men. In my mind’s eye, I vividly imagined the overwhelming gunfire, flames and impossible odds in the early dawn on March 6th, 1836.  That day, one hundred and eighty-two true heroes died with honor and never made it home to their families.

My visit was quick, but it did not matter.  I received the message of the  Alamo just the same.  There is a plaque, spotlighted out front, that states, “Our flag still waves proudly from the walls—I shall never surrender or retreat.  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.

~Barb Roehler

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“Remember, there was no back door to the Alamo.”   Mom’s fiery words hung in the air like a challenge when she wanted us to stand firm and face our problems.  “We are Texans and Texans don’t run scared.”  Years later, I toured this small Texas mission now in the center of San Antonio. You can imagine my total surprise to find a back door in the main building.

The Alamo is an icon of courage and commitment for us Texans. “Remember the Alamo” were the words used in the fight for Texas independence from Mexico. Men shouted it in memory of those killed at the Alamo.

The legend is that William Travis, the 26-year old commander of the troops that were to die in a few, short hours, drew a line in the sand.  He asked all the men willing to fight to the death to step bravely across the line. Only one man left the Alamo that day . . . the teller of the story.

My mom wanted her children to be willing to “cross the line” in support of what we believed was right. There may have been a back door to the Alamo, but there was always that line in the sand, calling us to stand tall and strong under adversity.

~Cathy Chapman~

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