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Land Commissioner George P. Bush wants to change Texas history.

The grandson of President Bush 41 and the nephew of President Bush 43 was elected as the Texas Land Commissioner due to his name. Maybe just maybe it’s time we stop electing Bushes and Clintons.

Mr. Bush wants to “Reimagine the Alamo” (his words) and move one of the most iconic monuments at the Alamo: The Alamo Cenotaph.

As the descendant of one of the Heroes of the Alamo, I always stop by the cenotaph to find my anscestor’s name. Bush wants to take that away from me.

This past week, Texans of all stripes have been protesting at the Alamo:

“It’s time to replant our boots in the ground and say enough is enough — leave our history alone, don’t remove this Cenotaph. Leave it right where it stands.” – Brandon Burkhart of the nonprofit This is Texas Freedom Force

Rick Range, chairman of the Save the Alamo Committee, said the memorial to the Alamo’s defenders is in the perfect spot.

“Cenotaph means empty tomb,” Range told the crowd. “It’s like the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. It has nothing to do with burning bodies or any of that other hokum. Where they want to put it is not where the bodies were burned anyway. If you’re going to put it down where they were really burned, you’d be hanging it mid-air over the San Antone river extension. So that’s just a lot of hooey.”

Stephen L. Hardin, a Texas historian who teaches at McMurry University in Abilene, said the Cenotaph has become part of the Alamo story given that it has been at the plaza for more than 80 years.

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“The fact that it wasn’t here in 1836, OK, we acknowledge that,” Hardin said. “But so what? This is where people can see it when they visit the Alamo.”

Stephen Hardin also posted this to one of the Texas groups I belong to:

This past weekend I spoke at the Alamo against moving the cenotaph. Gary Zaboly said I should post this, so here goes.

I hope y’all enjoy it.

No Alamo defender came here seeking a glorious death; most of them were fighting for the fresh start that Texas promised. They were not part of an obsessive death cult; nor were they Japanese kamikazes or suicide bombers bent on ritual suicide. Such fanaticism was no part of their cultural tradition. These men were citizen soldiers. They may have been willing to die for a cause but that was never their intention. They fervently prayed that such a sacrifice would prove unnecessary.

Each of them savored life’s pleasures. Daniel William Cloud, a twenty-two-year-old attorney from Logan County, Kentucky, left his parents behind and wrote them loving letters. In one, he cited his reasons for fighting for Texas: “If we succeed, the country is ours, it is immense in extent and fertile in its soil and will amply reward all our toils. If we fail, death in the cause of liberty and humanity is not cause for shuddering.” At fifty-nine years of age, Gordon C. Jennings was the oldest defender. He, his wife Catherine, two sons, and two daughters, immigrants from Missouri, had built a new life for themselves in Bastrop. That family paid a high price for Texas independence. Gordon fell here at the Alamo; his brother, Charles B. Jennings, died in the Goliad Massacre. The three Taylor brothers—George, James, and Edward—came from Tennessee. They were inseparable and they all died on this ground—together. José Gregorio Esparza did not have to travel to the Alamo; San Antonio de Béxar was his home. The thirty-four-year-old native was constantly reminded of how much he was risking. His wife, Ana, their daughter, and three sons, had all taken refuge inside the fort upon Santa Anna’s arrival.

They were not marble men. They were, all of them, flesh-and-blood human beings who, in their time, lived, laughed, and loved. Pompeo Luigi Coppini understood that and his masterpiece admirably reveals their humanity. He knew more than a little about traveling to distant lands to seek opportunity. In 1896, he emigrated to the United States with nothing but a trunk of clothes and forty dollars. The struggling artist finally found the chance he was searching for—in Texas.

During the 1936 Texas Centennial celebration, state officials allocated $100,000 for a new monument to Alamo defenders and Coppini won the commission. On November 11, 1940, San Antonio mayor Maury Maverick presided over the dedication ceremony. Since then Copinni’s sculpture has stood as a testament to the defense of this ground—and the cost of it. We call it the cenotaph, but Coppini’s official title was “The Spirit of Sacrifice.”

Alamo heroes have no Arlington Cemetery. Following the battle, Santa Anna ordered their bodies burned and the wind carried their ashes to the four corners of the earth. In a symbolic sense, Alamo Plaza is a cemetery and the cenotaph is their headstone. It is the only place that their blood and spiritual descendants can pay homage to their memory.

But now a committee of pretended “experts” wants to shunt off the monument to a tiny park off Market Street, where it will fall prey to the depredations of vandals and graffiti artist. They argue that they wish to move the monument—and I quote—to “a place where it has appropriate context with symbolic meaning.”

The committee has been wishy-washy concerning the cenotaph’s final location. Still, if it’s near the site of the funeral pyres—“a place where it has appropriate context with symbolic meaning”— that would place it right across the street from Denney’s. Yep, there’s dignity for you.

Leave the cenotaph where it is. Where it has been since 1940; where generations of Texans have come to pay their respects; where it became a treasured part of the visitor experience; where people can actually see it and where we, as Texans, can protect and defend it.

Faceless bureaucrats are so busy “re -imagining the Alamo,” that that have forgotten (if they ever knew) the integrity in tradition, value in the verdict of experience, of lives lived, and principles cherished. It does not venerate the ashes; it feeds the flame. Try to explain to the heirs of Daniel W. Cloud, Gordon C. Jennings and Gregorio Esparza that compliance is a virtue, submission but another form of patriotism. But, be ready to duck when you do! Texans have spent enough time in feedlots to recognize this plan for what it is—and our mamas taught us to scrape it off our boots before we came into the house.

On February 24, 1836, Lieutenant Colonel William Barret Travis dispatched a plea to his fellow Texians: “I call on you in the name of Liberty, of Patriotism & everything dear to the American character, to come to our aid, with all dispatch.” In response to his call, we exercise our right to peaceful protest and resist the forces of ignorance, recklessness, and insensitivity. We come in defense of “The Spirit of Sacrifice.”

And here, we stand.

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