Saturday, March 04, 2006

13 Days of Glory


On February 23, 1836 (170 years ago last week), the Mexican army commanded by General Santa Anna began a 13 day siege of the Alamo. The small defending force amounted to about 184 men.

What goes through someone’s mind at a time like this? Why do they choose the path they choose? I look at the ‘critical’ and ‘important’ decisions I make (which brand of the latest must-have gadget? which house? which car? what’s for dinner?) then I look at the choices of these men and millions of others through history like them and I am humbled.

I believe John Wayne’s movie “The Alamo” (1960) is the best Alamo movie to date. This version did a wonderful job of capturing the spirit and feel of the period and what those involved must have had on their hearts and minds. By the way…even though some of the historical facts aren’t correct this IS the most geographically accurate of any Alamo movie ever made. It was filmed in Texas about 100 miles west of the real Alamo.

I think the following pretty well captures what must have been going through the minds of the Alamo Defenders:

John Wayne as Davy Crockett: “…you might think I'm talkin' about me. I'm not. I'm talkin' about you...as a matter of fact I’m talkin’ about all people everywhere. When I come down here to Texas I was lookin’ for something. I didn’t know what. Seems like you added up my life and I’d spent it all either stompin’ other men or in some cases gettin’ stomped. Had me some money, and had me some medals. But none of it seemed a lifetime worth the pain of the mother that bore me. It’s like I was empty. Well, I'm not empty anymore. That's what's important, to feel useful in this old world, to hit a lick against what's wrong or to say a word for what's right even though you get walloped for saying that word. Now I may sound like a Bible beater yelling up a revival at a river crossing camp meeting, but that don't change the truth none. There's right and there's wrong. You got to do one or the other. You do the one and you're living. You do the other and you may be walking around, but you're dead as a beaver hat.”

Can't say it any plainer than that.

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