Monday, March 2, 2009

Generations of Texans - Happy Birthday!

Today, some 172 years ago, was born a proud, unique and independent nation on the North American continent. Diversity was its trademark. Vastness was its reputation. A door to the western frontiers was opened for the USA making it have a great impact on the entire world. As a nation, it subsequently earned the right when voted into statehood, to fly its flag alongside of the USA flag. There is no other state that has such a profound privilege.

Texas became the state of the cowboy, with prairies having such a huge expanse of sky that the horizon appears to have no end. Texans are Texans if they live here and will pledge allegiance to the flag of Texas. If they do not pledge that allegiance, they are simply visitors. If born in Texas and living outside of Texas, they have not abandoned their state. They will return. Like John Steinbeck said, "A Texan outside of Texas is a foreigner,". Who wants to be a foreigner? We do return to our native place, even if we leave it for work. Yup, we are a different people. We talk difrant; we eat difrant; we luv difrant; we live difrant. We eat Haumburgers, not hamburgers. We proudly deliver our words with a drawl. We eat Barbecue from our ranch heritage. Our state food is called "Mexican Food" but it isn't really Mexican. It is TexMex, derived from ancestral Indians, Tejanos and Anglo Americans. It is a Tejano food, or "Texan" as the name implies (Tejas was the original name of Texas).

What other state defended their country like our Texans did? A lad from South Carolina fought to his death on March 6th at the Alamo to make the Mexicans pay the price for their ethnic cleansing of our state. He killed as many Mexican soldiers as he could to weaken their confidence of eliminating the national pride of Texas. Where would we be without the determination and sacrifice of William B Travis and Stephen F Austin? From that time forward, we Texans have cried "Remember the Alamo". That has great significance to a Texan! The slaughter of 417 Texans (as recorded by the Mexicans) by Santa Ana's troops on March 17th raised the cry for Goliad also. Side-by-side, Tejanos and gringos alike, fought for their rights to live here and determine their own destiny. The Mexicans enraged the Texans at the massacre near Goliad; the Mexicans failed to honor a written agreement of truce by murdering those 417 brave Texans who surrendered to an army six times their size. Col Fannin did not ever manage to join up with Sam Houston as he dies there, but was instrumental in bringing to light a cause and a determination to fight the Mexicans to the bitter end. That generated a fierceness in the troops of Sam Houston that certainly made headlines on April 21st when the Texas yelled out in an attack on Santa Ana at 3:30PM, "Remember La Bahia" and "Remember the Alamo". Vengeance is mine, proclaimed those warriors. They took them in 20 minutes and killed 630 soldiers and captured 700 in the process.

So today we remember our nation now state, and fly our flag proudly. Texans we are. Texans, we stand. We are, not we were.

Remember the Alamo! Now you see why we fly the Lone Star flag. Happy birthday Tejas!!!