To All Texans & Americans in the World
We, the Direct Descendants and Kin of David Crockett (DDDC) feel that it is time to lend a voice to common sense regarding the on-going controversy of Alamo Plaza’s future design an interpretation. We have deep concerns about how the new vision by the “Reimagine the Alamo” planners are not in alignment with what the Texas Legislature originally intended and why the initial funding was allocated.
The DDDC feels that, for years, the overall setting and impression of the Alamo has mostly been a major disappointment since so much of the original compound has been swallowed up by commercial encroachment. The surrounding atmosphere has been quite troubling, as it has repeatedly enabled irreverent behavior, degrading public displays, and non-stop commercial clutter that does nothing to declare this once venerated site as Sacred Ground. A significant transformation has been long overdue.
However, for any of us who have visited the best historic sites around the country, it doesn’t take much to compare the difference and see what we need in Alamo Plaza. Here are a few basic examples:
* Alamo Plaza must be a pedestrian space for preservation, security, and safety reasons. You can’t see the real Alamo by car.
* The perimeter stone walls and buildings need to be authentically recreated on its footprint, just as you see at Mission San Jose. This should include the Crockett palisade, the Main Gate, and other key areas of the compound. We need to see the Alamo of 1836 come to life, as this will also help everyone understand the mission period, as well. This is not a new or radical concept.
* The world-class museum needs to be housed in a very large structure like the Federal Building on the north end. The three isolated buildings on the west side are inadequate for such an important part of the design.
* Living history interpretation must be a daily experience on the Alamo grounds and in the Plaza. Both Texian and Mexican stories of the battle must be told.
These are common sense concepts that drive to the heart of the matter. The current plan as presented, however, is mostly unworkable and uninspiring. David Crockett was famous for having said, “Be sure you are right, then go ahead!” We know that the above examples are the right thing to do, and it’s time to gather the will and courage to Go Ahead!
Errol A Flannery, President
Chris Daigle, Chairman of the Board
We are descendants of John H. Dillard, Rifleman from Tennessee. As descendants of a defender of the Alamo, we would like to plead with those in authority, to reconsider their proposal to move the Cenotaph.
This beautiful memorial not only represents our Texas heritage, but it is a reminder of the brave men who fought and gave their lives for our independence. It is as others have said, “where our ancestors died, and it is our families’ headstone.”
We cannot imagine being those approximately 150-200 men inside the Alamo during this battle. Picture yourselves for 13 days, looking out over those mission walls, seeing Santa Anna’s army, which numbered in the thousands, and realizing the ultimate outcome. Would we have been brave enough to stay within those walls and fight until the bitter end or would we have chosen to throw up the white flag and surrender? These men believed in their cause and they were willing to fight to the death to benefit future generations.
The Alamo is not just a mission and the cenotaph is not just a statue. They are both symbols of our Texas heritage and serve as a reminder to future generations of Texans, that our independence came with a cost. It gives a face to the names, it gives recognition to those who perished, and it honors their bravery. Let us not disturb this sacred battlefield, our “families’ headstone,” nor their memory.
It is now our turn to say, “Remember the Alamo!”
Jennifer Floyd Calley
Angie Floyd Kahn
My name is Jimmie Jimenez. I am the third great-nephew of Damacio Jimenez, one of the Defenders who was killed at the Alamo on March 6, 1836.
Damacio was a widower and had one son who died in childhood. He fought in the siege and taking of Bexar (San Antonio) from the Mexican Army in December of 1835, and was one of the soldiers who had helped transport the famous 18-pounder cannon from the Texas coast up to San Antonio. This was the gun that Travis used to fire the opening shot against Santa Anna on the first day of the siege of the Alamo.
I want everyone to know that the Jimenez Family and I strongly oppose the REIMAGINE THE ALAMO Master Plan that is being pushed by Texas General Land Office Commissioner George P. Bush. We join with all of the other Defenders’ descendants who are adamantly opposing this plan, including descendants of David Crockett and William Barret Travis. Commissioner Bush’s plan has many flaws, but its most egregious feature is its intent to downplay and diminish the role of the 1836 Battle. In answer to a direct question about the 1836 Battle, Bush’s Master Planner George Skarmeas clearly and publicly stated that “we cannot single out one moment in time.”
This statement is totally absurd on its face. Everybody knows that the Alamo is world famous only because of the supreme sacrifice that the Defenders made and because of their heroic defense of the mission-fortress against tremendous and overwhelming odds. No other reason.
I find it totally offensive that anybody, be it George P. Bush or any other person, would even consider in any way denigrating the role that my ancestor and the other brave Defenders played on this hallowed ground where they poured out their very life’s blood. These Alamo Defenders were giants, and their supreme sacrifice must not be allowed to be diminished by the misguided plans of little men.
I therefore appeal to you my fellow Texans to do your duty and join me in fiercely resisting this outrage. Please do everything you possibly can to inform everyone in the state about this dire situation that we are now confronting.
We must not and will not allow a second tragedy to befall the Alamo. The courageous Defenders of the Alamo deserve that much from us.
My name is Albert Seguin. I am a third great-grandson of Juan Seguin. I am the Founder and President of THE SEGUIN FAMILY HISTORICAL SOCIETY. Our Family Organization is comprised of the bloodline descendants of the men who defended, fought, and died at the Alamo in 1836.
Our intention is to strongly oppose the current REIMAGINE THE ALAMO Master Plan that is being pursued and pushed into reality by Texas General Land Office Commissioner George P. Bush.
There are many aspects detrimental to this plan which have been addressed previously. The plan being favored greatly disrespects the ultimate sacrifice made by the men who fought at the Alamo and died at the Alamo for the right to self govern.
With all due respect to George Skarmeas, not a Texan, he has stated that “We cannot single out one moment in time.” However, the Alamo is about a brief period of time, a very crucial period for Texas—1836.
We are opposing the changes that are entailed in the proposed REIMAGINE THE ALAMO plan.
We encourage everyone who cares about the Alamo to strongly oppose George P. Bush’s plan, and to inform every Texan that they possibly can about this dire situation.
Founder and President of The Seguin Family Historical Society
Texas City, TX
I am the great-great-great-nephew of Colonel William B. Travis. I have been following with great interest the Reimagine the Alamo campaign and am greatly disappointed.
I URGE the planners to reconsider this campaign, the Fall of the Alamo is central to the Alamo. If there had not been a battle and great sacrifice there by our forefathers the Alamo would just be another Spanish mission from a bygone era.
The Alamo is sacred ground not only to Texas but to the U.S. and especially to those related to the Defenders that fell there.
The Alamo is sacred ground. Would we consider reimagining the Battleship Arizona or Gettysburg? The answer should and must be no. Again, I urge the planners to put a stop to this and any efforts to move the Cenotaph.
Thomas G. Travis
Sanford, North Carolina
To my fellow Texans and all who love the Alamo,
I'm Lee Spencer White, Founder and President of the Alamo Defenders Descendants Association (ADDA), Direct Bloodline of the Alamo garrison. We represent the men, women, and children who were inside the Alamo during the 1836 battle. Our ancestors were Esparza, Crockett, Jennings, and Abamillo.
We are strongly opposed to the current REIMAGINE THE ALAMO Master Plan which has been forced upon us by Texas General Land Office Commissioner George P. Bush. There are many detrimental aspects of the plan, but the most egregious of these is that it diminishes—even disrespects—the ultimate sacrifice of the Alamo Defenders. Master Planner George Skarmeas has stated, “We cannot single out one moment in time.”
While the ADDA respect the many layers of history of the Alamo, we feel the 1836 battle is its defining moment and why it is remembered or even exists today. For over twenty years our organization has gathered for a soul-stirring candlelight service inside the Alamo Chapel. A service where the Alamo roll call is read and the descendant of that person stands to honor their Alamo ancestor. We the blood of those brave men and women have been denied the use of the Chapel since George P. Bush took control, having been shuffled to a side building outside the battlefield or even worse into the street.
The REIMAGINE Plan encouraged the City of San Antonio to pass a motion to remove the Cenotaph, the 1936 monument to the ultimate sacrifice of the Alamo Defenders whose names are engraved thereon, completely out of Alamo Plaza. Yes, locating it several blocks away where it will fall prey to vandals. This is how we honor and remember the Alamo? The City of San Antonio was told the new site is more appropriate for the monument as it is the site where the bodies were burned.
In fact, that is a lie. We the Alamo Descendants want to place a bronze marker next to the Cenotaph with an updated list of Alamo defenders as well as the couriers, survivors, and noncombatants of the Alamo. PLEASE HELP US. Stop the removal of the monument; get the word out to everybody: “LEAVE THE CENOTAPH ALONE”—repair, yes—move, no.
I encourage everyone who cares about the Alamo to oppose the REIMAGINE Plan, and inform every Texan about what is truly happening at the Alamo.
Remember the Alamo not Reimagine it.
God Bless Texas.
Lee Spencer White President of the Alamo Defenders Descendants Association