Thursday, April 21, 2011

A Star is Born

Texas, our Texas! All hail the mighty state!

Texas, our Texas! So wonderful, so great!

Boldest and grandest! Withstanding every test!

O empire wide and glorious, you stand supremely blest!

Do Texas school kids still start the day with that song? I'm guessing probably not, but it was the second thing we did every day, right after the Pledge of Allegiance.

I'm pretty sure every Texas student within driving distance still visits the San Jacinto Monument at least once. I remember being really impressed back then, and it's still impressive today.

It stands over 567 feet high. The star on top weighs 220 tons!

I liked running my fingers over this beautiful Texas limestone when I was a kid. Is there any doubt that Texas was once covered in water?

The interior is cool and echo-y. There are dioramas of early life in old Tejas.

The wonderful Charles Shaw paintings were new to me. This one depicts Sam Houston's men destroying a bridge over the Brazos, so Santa Ana's reinforcements couldn't cross.

Stephen Fuller Austin

Here is Stephen F. Austin, who actually changed his first name to Estevan and learned fluent Spanish. (Wonder what the modern English-only movement thinks of that?)

And Sam Houston, who is known for his wise and measured leadership. His men wanted to attack too soon, but he chose his moment well.

The Mexican soldiers were resting, their backs to the water. And when Houston's men attacked, the afternoon sun was in the their opponents' eyes.

Some say that Houston should have dealt with Santa Ana in a different way. After all, here is the man who massacred Fannin's army...

But Houston kept his eye on loftier goals, and didn't get distracted by revenge.

As we left the monument and looked at the peaceful fields around us, I tried to envision the men camped in the trees next to the Brazos. The Mexican soldiers, exhausted after an all-night journey. And the ragtag band of settlers, nervously waiting to attack or be attacked.

God bless you, Texas, and keep you brave and strong!
That you may grow in power and worth
Throughout the ages long!


liese4 said...

I'll tell you a story about Sam Houston. If you go to where the Lynchburg ferry is you will see a stone monument about Isaac Batterson. He is a distant relation to my Mom's side of the family. Anyway Batterson was hosting Houston at his home when it became apparent that his forces needed to cross the river. So they used part of Batterson's home to make a bridge across the water which helped get Houston to where he needed to be.

Unfortunately they had to take all of Mrs. Bartterson's fine eastern furniture out of the house and it got warped and wet, she was not happy.

My cousin wrote about the whole thing on his blog, it's pretty interesting and neat to have a family member that was a part of Texan independence.

The Adventurer said...

Thanks for sharing this information on Texas, I have only been there once and only for a few days. When we get back to the states we will be traveling around more and getting to know our own country better:)