Long have we all heard the cry, “Never forget the Alamo!” Or is it, “Remember the Alamo”? One of these things has been echoing out of Texas for our lifetimes, and maybe some lifetimes before ours. But what is it really? What IS the Alamo? I know I could ask wikipedia, but I’m asking you, on this, the anniversary of The Battle of the Alamo! Pop quiz, kidlets.
In the meantime, I’ll tell you what I know for sure.
The Alamo is in Texas, of course. It is a fortress. I’ve been told that it is smaller than you’d think. On March 6, one hundred and seventy-nine years ago, a bunch of American soldiers and living legends got killed by Mexican soldiers. I think the reason Texas considers it a victory is because the Americans held out for an astonishingly long time in the face of such strong adversity. But the Alamo should be remembered for far more important things than that.
Without the Alamo, would Pee Wee’s Big Adventure have been nearly as good? It was a major plot point and really was a punchline to a very long cinematic joke! Jan Hooks, late actress, got to shine in the role she was born to play.
A generation of non-Texan Americans were introduced to American History by a little thing that turned out to be so important to us all eventually: edutainment. I mean, I guess I’m not trying to claim that Pee Wee’s Big Adventure was the first instance of educating while entertaining, but I AM stating as an outright fact that it is the earliest and most important instance of such in my own young life, and that should be good enough for all of us.
Without the Alamo, Marty Robbins wouldn’t have sung a good classic cowboy song version of the tale. Rhyming, jaunty, emotional, factual – the Ballad of the Alamo is a fantastic song from another, simpler, time (but not as simple as the 1830s – I think the Ballad is 1960s simplicity) and in my time I have felt an emotion or two get stirred while drunkenly listening to it by accident. I assume that this is Texas’ State Song.
Without the Ballad of the Alamo, I would not have a future event set in place for my own life. Yes, I am reporting on something that hasn’t happened yet – BUT IT IS BOUND TO. For you see, on my dad’s side of the family, I am related to Davy Crockett (died: March 6, 1836 – Alamo). On my mom’s side of the family, I am related to Colonel Travis (died: March 6, 1836 – Alamo). These two men fought and DIED together not knowing that more than a hundred years later, they would be related through marriage. Maybe as Santa Anna (who didn’t die until 1849) orchestrated their deaths, Travis and Crockett had confusing imagery flash through their minds of some stunning future girl with blue hair, not realizing that it was ME – their REAL destiny. It is possible that they died that day in order to be immortalized in a song that I would some day karaoke-sing while at a bar in Dallas, Texas.
I have never been to any piece of Texas, but you can rest assured that I will use the influence of my ancestors to get free drinks from strangers until I am slamjammered enough into thinking karaoke is finally an okay idea. At that moment, I will make it so that those men have not died in vain. I will bravely slur out that song and butcher the words in much the same manner as those brave men were butchered.
I will make it so that no one will ever forget the Alamo again, no matter how hard they try.