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Take a Trip Back in Time Remembering the Battle of the Alamo

Updated: Nov 15, 2019

The Alamo at Night

13 Days to Glory: When a small Catholic Mission and about 200 men became a thorn in the side of a president. Today, if you ask any Texan, what is the most important or best-known battle during the War for Texas Independence? They will say “The Battle of the Alamo” “Remember the Alamo.” So, let us take a trip back in time and “Remember the Alamo.”

If you are stationed anywhere in or near Texas, visiting Texas and the San Antonio area, then a trip to the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas is a must for any military / armed forces member, civilian and their family. The Alamo and the battle that took place there on March 6, 1836 holds a very special place in hearts of Texans, the history of Texas and the United States. For 13 days, a handful of defenders stood against the army of the Mexican President General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna. Almost all but just a very few of the defenders and non-combatants inside the Alamo were either killed during the battle or put to dead following the battle as Gen. Santa Anna had raised the red flag of no quarter, meaning no one would be spared. After the battle of the Alamo, Gen. Santa Anna described the battle as a “small affair” but if he were here today, he may pick different words.

San Antonio de Béxar or as it is called today, San Antonio is one of the best places I have ever traveled to and one that you will enjoy as well. San Antonio has a lot to offer as a vacation destination, a weekend get-a-way or even a day trip. San Antonio is a beautiful Texas city with many adventures awaiting anyone who dares to enter. You can do and experience many wonderful things in San Antonio. You can enjoy San Antonio’s beautiful River Walk, also known as the Paseo del Rio in Spanish with its many shops and cafes along the riverfront. There are museums, Spanish missions, a zoo, theme parks for both adults and the kids, caverns, theatres, parks, to shopping squares. Too many things to do, almost anything you want to do, you can do in San Antonio. The Crazy Tourist lists 25 best things to do in San Antonio, many of which I did, but none was more memorable for me than spending half a day inside the Alamo.

The Alamo stands alone with its 18th century Catholic mission architecture in the middle of a modern-day Texas city. As you stand in front of the Alamo, you can see behind it the sign to the old Davy Crockett hotel. You can see the paved streets, shops and office buildings of today surrounding the old mission. Nothing like it was when many a good man fell to musket fire, cannon fire and at the tips of sharpened bayonets in 1836. It is a far cry from what co-commanders Jim Bowie and William Travis and defender Davy Crockett saw across the fields while looking at thousands of Mexican soldiers waiting to advance and take the mission in the name of their president all those years ago.

When you enter the doorway to the old mission, you can just feel yourself stepping back in time. The missions decor, the old mission sod walls, wooden beams and high ceilings. You can just picture yourself standing there listening to William Travis as he talked about staying and facing the enemy, the importance of holding the mission against a ruthless tyrant like Santa Anna and how more men would come to their aid, and as each dispatcher was sent out to get more men, none would ever show up. It is a feeling that I rarely get, but when I entered the Alamo for the first time, it was all I could think about for a long while. As I walked the halls and courtyard of the old mission, my mind kept flashing back to all the times I watched the late great John Wayne in his 1960 movie The Alamo with Richard Widmark, Linda Cristal, Richard Boone and other great actors. I could see myself standing there on the ramparts firing my musket at the advancing Mexicans, dropping one with each shot until fate took hold and took me down with the thud of a Mexican musket ball as it struck me and sent me to my reward with the thoughts of freedom fading away.

Spending time within the Alamo walls was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. The history buff inside me was on cloud nine. You can spend hours just walking the grounds, sitting under the tress, walking the halls of the mission looking at the exhibits, the chapel and feeling like you have stepped back in time. Even after departing the Alamo and enjoying the River Walk with its many sights and sounds, the sights and sounds that you would hear in any picturesque city like San Antonio. My mind would drift back to walking the grounds of the Alamo and standing where many a great man died for a yet not born republic, the Republic of Texas. While walking thinking of how “Remember the Alamo” was the motto that the men shouted as they attacked Santa Anna’s army later on after the fall of the Alamo as they won their freedom from Mexico and helped establish the Republic of Texas.

There is no charge to visit the Alamo, it’s free to enter. You must follow the rules of reverence of course because it is hallowed ground. The Alamo has a unique set of rules befitting its status as the Shrine of Texas Liberty. So, please be respectful of that when you visit. These are simple easy to follow rules: No hats, food or drinks inside the chapel, no use of cameras or cell phones inside, no pets, no bad / obscene language or clothing, no alcohol, no smoking and other common-sense standards of behavior.

The Alamo is open: From Sept 4th to May 24th the hours are from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. From May 25th to Sept 3rd the hours are from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and the Alamo is closed on Christmas Day.

The Alamo is owned by the people of the state of Texas. In 2011, the Texas Legislature transferred care of the Alamo to the General Land Office (GLO). The GLO works in partnership with Alamo Complex Management, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, to preserve and operate the historic site. To support the Alamo as it is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. You can purchase guided or private tours, visit the gift shop, or directly donate to the Alamo and help support, preserve and share the story of the Alamo for future generations.

As a history buff, I can only say, that visiting the Alamo is a trip that you’ll never forget. You can take the whole family and make a complete vacation around the Alamo and everything that the city of San Antonio has to offer. I hope that you get to take a trip to the Alamo and that you enjoy it as much as I did. So, take that step back in time, visit the Alamo and thus “Remembering the Alamo” and as always -

"Happy trails my friends."

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