In the morning the guns stopped. In the dawn's early light all saw that the flag still flew and the fort remained in American hands. Eventually, the fleet sailed away. Key was released. He rushed to the fort and there he saw what had happened. The flagpole had been hit numerous times. The flag was full of holes. Around the base of the flag were numerous bodies of American soldiers and citizens. Throughout the night, they had sacrificed themselves to keep the flag waving. As the flagpole splintered from the direct hits it suffered, men rushed out and held up the flag, becoming human flagpoles. One by one, as each was cut down by the bombs bursting in air, another rushed out to take his place.
The nation survived and America became a shining light in the world as the land of the free. And the men of Fort McHenry proved it was also the home of the brave.
William Barret Travis
In the winter and early spring of 1836, war raged throughout what is now the State of Texas. Mexico, led by General Santa Anna wanted to control the territory. Santa Anna was a pompous, brutal dictator who had terrorized the citizens, murdering at will, and taking property at his whim. The Texans wanted to be free of him. In a recent battle they had managed to free San Antonio of his rule. Now he wanted it back.
So, Santa Anna began a march on San Antonio with more that 1,000 troops determined to prove that resistance to his rule was futile. On February 23rd, about 145 Texans under the command of William Barret Travis rushed into a mission called the Alamo. Soon they were surrounded. Travis put out a call for reinforcements, saying, "I am besieged by a thousand or more Mexicans... I have sustained a continual bombardment and cannonade for 24 hours... The enemy has demanded a surrender at discretion, otherwise the garrison are to be put to the sword if the fort is taken."
Over the following two weeks, the Mexican forces continually strengthened to over 2,000. Answering Travis's call, a few reinforcements for the Texans were able to break through the lines and build the garrison to 189. Famed frontiersman and Congressman Davy Crockett arrived with 15 good men from Tennessee. Another famous frontiersman, Jim Bowie was there. There were 30 volunteers from South Carolina, ready to fight with their native son, Travis. More than 81 volunteers were from different countries including England, Scotland, Germany, Ireland and various U.S. states.
Finally, as it became apparent that no large group of reinforcements would be able to come to their aid, Travis called a meeting of the men and told them they were free to leave and save themselves. He took out his sword and drew a line in the sand. He said, if you want to stay, cross that line. To a man they crossed, determined to stay and fight the Santa Anna tyranny.
After constant bombardment from the Mexican guns, the men inside the Alamo heard a bugle signal the command to Santa Anna's troops to charge and take no prisoners. The men in the Alamo fought to the last man. Travis was one of the first to fall, on the north wall where the main assault occurred. He was 26. Jim Bowie, ill on a stretcher, was killed in a small room on the south side. He was 41. And Davy Crockett's body was found in a small fort on the west side, surrounded by a pile of dead Mexicans. He was 50 years old.
189 Texans died that day but they took 600 Mexicans with them. The Alamo had fallen, but their courage allowed Texas General Sam Houston the time he needed to raise an army and meet Santa Anna only forty six days later. As Houston's men charged, they shouted, "Remember the Alamo." The battle lasted only 18 minutes. The Texans killed 630 of Santa Anna's men, and captured 730, literally destroying his army. The next day, General Santa Anna was captured, disguised as a peasant. His rule was finished and Texas had won its independence, because 189 heroes had offered their lives in a belief that preserving freedom was more important than living life under tyranny.
Making Sense Of It All
American history is full of stories of sacrifice and heroism in the name of preserving freedom. They were called patriots and they didn't sacrifice to build the power of government, or to enrich the pockets of a select power elite or to promote one group over another. They did it so they could live their lives in peace, unencumbered and left alone.
Today, our young people are taught in government classrooms that these ideals are old fashioned, quaint and, in many cases just plain wrong. Patriotism is racism, we're told by modern scholars. Property ownership is selfish. Children are taught that our free society is the root of the Earth's destruction and must be dismantled through a tightly controlled, organized global village. The Constitution, say the scholars, is a living document, changeable with a whim. The Declaration of Independence, which Dolly Madison risked everything to save, is just a "war document from the Revolution." Nothing more.
Yesterday's patriots have been replaced by politicians who pander to special interests, as they fill their pockets with money in exchange for deals, privilege and power. A foreign policy based on honest trade, avoiding "entangling alliances," has been replaced with our military meddling in over one hundred countries, imposing economic and personal values where they aren't wanted. America today is guilty of the very same kind of "nation building" we fought King George to end. Now America finds itself hated and non-respected, assuring Americans are unsafe on every street corner in the world.
America needs leadership which understands our roots and the history it took to mold this nation. But who can our young people look to for such ideas? Who among the politicians and self-appointed leaders of our nation would make such sacrifices? Who among them would even advocate such an attitude?
Would Hillary Clinton stand on the front lines in defense of this nation and order her own home destroyed for freedom's sake? Would Barack Obama stand on the North wall and fight to the death to stop an invasion of the country? Of course not. In fact, both of these "leaders" are actually calling for those very descendents of the original invaders of the Alamo to "come on over."
Today, instead of statesmen who serve our country out of love and loyalty for its ideals, dealing with other nations with the just interest of the United States first and foremost, we have politicians looking for a deal. Will it sound good to certain voter block? Will it make me look good on television? Can I get a leg up on the other candidates if I propose this?
As the Associated Press said, "Democrats Hillary Rodham Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards have proposed vast policy programs costing billions of dollars. Republicans Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney, John McCain and Fred Thompson have vowed to extend President Bush's tax cuts and continue the multi-billion dollar wars in Iraq and Afghanistan indefinitely."
What are the real issues on the minds of the American public? Too-high taxes; ever-creeping government intrusion in our lives; unprotected borders; over 60% say they want us out of the UN; growing corporate power; reduced standard of living; the fall of the dollar and less buying power; massive government debt; high gas prices. These issues affect every single American.
Yet not one of these issues is being addressed by most of the candidates for president. Instead we have great debates on AIDS, hate crimes, racial disparity, education, and the rebuilding of New Orleans. Each of these issues is a hot button for a specific special interest group which is piling money into campaign coffers. The average American could care less about any of them, yet they are the debates of the day while the real issues are ignored.
These politicians would never be trusted on the front lines next to the heroes of the Alamo or Thomas Nelson, Jr. None would ever inspire a single lyric by Key. And they are not worthy of being elected to leading the country these heroes helped create and preserve.
But there are still patriots in our nation and some still seek to serve it in the highest office. Ron Paul, Duncan Hunter, and Tom Tancredo.
Duncan Hunter alone has forced legislation through Congress to stop funding for a North American Union. He loves his country and strives to keep its national defense strong. One can picture Duncan Hunter taking up arms next to Davy Crockett.
Tom Tancredo almost single-handedly created the national debate over illegal immigration. He has been unwavering in his demands that the borders be secure. Tancredo would have stood next to Thomas Nelson, Jr. and taken the pledge to sacrifice his life, fortune and sacred honor for his country - he already has.
But Ron Paul is perhaps the one man from our era whom the Founding Fathers would most want to join for dinner. They would have learned from him what defense of the Constitution is all about.
Under a Ron Paul presidency, the nation would be in for a lesson in economics not seen since the days of Thomas Jefferson. Ron Paul managed to discuss Austrian Economics on Jay Leno. All Bill Clinton managed to discuss was the type of underwear he wore. Such a comparison shows how Paul towers over the rest.
To watch Ron Paul almost single-handedly defend the ideals of Constitutional government against the massive power of the national news media, political parties, a forest of rotted politicians and a government-school-created ignorance of history, is a lesson in what it means to be a patriot. His courageous candidacy brings a tear to the eye and a swell of pride in the heart. To the young people searching for a hero, look no further than Ron Paul. For part one click below.
here for part -----> 1,
© 2007 Tom DeWeese - All Rights Reserved
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Tom DeWeese is president of the American Policy
Center and Editor of The DeWeese Report , 70 Main Street, Suite 23, Warrenton
How can young people make decisions in the voting booth? Who can they choose? Are there any candidates who offer anything other than meaningless gibberish?