Misremember The Alamo!Commentary • Opinion • history • mexico • ISSUE 42•33 • Aug 16, 2006 By Carson Tomkins I can still remember a time, not so long ago, when folks actually cared about our whitewashed cultural heritage. Whatever happened to unqualified reverence for the brave men who made this country what it is today? Where are our children's larger-than-life role models? Where's our connection to the history that binds dimly remembered past to imperfect present? In these uncertain times, we must look for guidance to those halcyon days, when morality was clear, freedom was more than just a word, and good triumphed absolutely over evil, Amen. So I say: Misremember the Alamo! I mean, remember it, but maybe not so clearly. There are certain details better left unsaid and misrecalled. The finer points of any historical event can be debated ad nauseam, but when it comes to the niggling realities surrounding the fame and glory of the Alamo, I say we're better off not bringing them up at all. When I was growing up, every little boy in Texas wanted to be just like the heroes of the Alamo: Davy Crockett and Jim Bowie in their coonskin caps and leather gun holsters, fighting off ten Mexicans with one hand while taking a shot of whiskey with the other, all in the name of independence for Texas and liberty for all and Manifest Destiny and the start of America's insatiable thirst for imperial expansion. Brothers and sisters, let us not soon forget the victory liberty enjoyed that fateful day, while forgetting all the rest of that other stuff!Now, that's something we can all agree on, by gum. American liberty. Right? So what's say we just let them sleeping dogs lie and not go into it any further.The important thing is that it's time to take a good long look back on them glorious days of yesteryear and the men who did glorious deeds—or at least, a cursory glance at a reassuring version of them.Now more than ever, we must remember exactly those vague historical brushstrokes that mean so much to this nation, without stirring up any uncomfortable additional facts. Think of those good old boys throwing the last grenade into the little ammunition they had left, going out in a blaze of glory and taking a whole heckuvalot of the enemy along with them! Don't think about them surrendering, then getting shot in the back of the head, execution-style, on their knees, like dogs, because that's just sad.Remember how they defended America! Yes sir! Even the greatest country on earth was once little more than a ragtag group of frontiersmen who scrapped against Santa Anna and his 6,000-strong, far-superior army. Though, if you read about it, he really didn't have that many soldiers, and they were pretty inexperienced, and, well they weren't exactly fighting for America, but for Texas—or Tejas, more correctly. Texas did become an independent nation, eventually, but that obviously didn't last long, so just think of it as a battle for "independence," in a more general-like sense. That way, you can sort of skirt around the fact that America, per se, had nothing to do with the story.Think of how so many sacrificed their lives for liberty that day, and not the fact that Texas wanted to secede from Mexico mainly because that country had outlawed slavery and Texas wanted to keep it, because, honestly, that's just a whole can of worms that would really just muddy the subject with unnecessary little details. It's not exactly what most people would consider liberty to mean these days. In fact, it's the opposite. Which proves my point.Let us all gloss over the truth together with our heads held high!Remember how Colonel Travis drew that line in the sand in a stirring display of loyalty and courage and how all but one of those brave defenders joined him, including the crippled Jim Bowie, who had to be dragged across—and we'll just stop right there. That's all we need to remember about that particular anecdote, trust me. Perhaps it's best to just remember that there was an Alamo. But don't actually remember anything about it. Except bravery. And America. Actually, did you ever see the movie with John Wayne? Remember that, why don't you? Remember the movie The Alamo! In fact, just remembering the slogan "Remember the Alamo" is good enough, really. Then, shout the slogan, in public, while you holler like a hound dog and swing a ten-gallon hat around in the air. Yee-haw!