The Last Stand…The Battle Over the ALAMO CENOTAPH

An inscription on the cenotaph reads:  In Memory of the Heroes who sacrificed their lives March 6, 1836 in the defense of Texas.  They chose never to surrender or retreat; these brave hearts with flag still proudly waving, perished in the flames of immorality that their high sacrifice might lead to the founding of this Texas.

The battle over the move of the Alamo Cenotaph is coming to an end.  On September 22, 2020, the Texas Historical Commission will hold a zoom meeting that is supposed to end this senseless idea to move the cenotaph. Texans voted overwhelming on Proposition 7, 97.3%, to keep the Alamo Cenotaph where it stands.  The state Republican convention this year voted on Legislative Priorities and saving the Alamo Cenotaph was one of priorities. No matter, nothing seems to have even reached the ears of the Texas Governor, Greg Abbott.  Silence is compliance.

It has been George P. Bush, the Texas Land Commissioner, that has blatantly ignored any and all suggestions and even threats from Lt Gov. Dan Patrick that, “another agency take over the project.”   To no avail.  Bush wants the cenotaph moved 500 feet away from where it stands now.  He says that the area selected is where the Santa Anna forces built a funeral pyre to burn the remains of the heroes of the battle of the Alamo. 

GP Bush is focused on moving the cenotaph, no matter what, no matter who gets in his way period.   It should make all Texans wonder why is he driving this move, what is motivating him. These are all valid questions. 

Douglass McDonald, the present CEO of the Alamo Trust, will be retiring at the end of September but is pursuing the District II DRT to get them to agree with the Reimagine Alamo plan.   Wonder what function he will play with the Alamo after September 30, 2020?

It is a shame that the people of Texas have not been heard that GP Bush is so unashamedly disregarding all and any proposals not to move the cenotaph.  It’s almost as if he has no ears to hear and no compassion for the heroes of the Battle of the Alamo. But really what do you expect from a Bush.

Jerry Patterson, the former Texas Land Commissioner before Bush, wrote a letter to the Historical Commission in hopes that they are swayed to vote not to move the cenotaph. 

The Alamo plan calls for the creation of a “free speech area” outside the original perimeter of the Alamo compound, in which the cenotaph is to be located. In light of the current jihad against virtually all monuments, I can think of no worse location to place any monument. The cenotaph in the “free speech area” will become the target for every Bolshevik with a can of spray paint. It appears the GLO now also considers this a weakness in selling their plan - I haven’t seen the term “free speech area” used in quite some time. When the mob arrives at the Alamo they will be directed by SAPD to the “free speech area”. What can possibly go wrong?

The GLO disingenuously claims that 63% of survey respondents supported the relocation of the cenotaph. This is completely bogus. The three part question allowed only a single “yes”, “no”, or “don’t know” answer to all three parts together. It asked should the cenotaph,

1-“be repaired and restored”,

2- “The names of the missing defenders added”, and

3- “Moved to a more prominent location”.  

Of course virtually no one would oppose parts 1 and 2, and the “more prominent location” seems like a good idea to those who aren’t informed. In fact, the cenotaph is already in a prominent location, far more prominent than the proposed location, and that’s why they want it moved – it’s too prominent.

Noted historian and author, Stephen Harrigan, wrote in Texas Monthly that the cenotaph is “far too venerable to remove.” While Harrigan expressed that opinion long before the current dust-up over the cenotaph, iconic objects over time become even more venerable. With the current popular movement to destroy/deface virtually every monument, the quickest means to make the cenotaph less venerable is to make it easier to deface.

In addition to their unfounded claim of 63% public support, the GLO has recently begun making another claim without any historical evidence. Both Commissioner Bush and his counsel Hector Valle now argue the cenotaph will be sited near one of the Alamo defenders funeral pyres. That would only be plausible if the recent archeology at the site has found charred human remains near the proposed location. The GLO has been unresponsive to open records requests seeking evidence to support their new claim.

During a video recorded interview in front of the Alamo in 2018, Commissioner Bush was asked by Michael Quinn Sullivan if he intended to move the cenotaph from its present location. In an obvious moment of discomfort, Bush’s non-sensical reply was, “As long as I’m Commissioner the cenotaph will always stand.” I think it quite possible that the denial of the necessary permit by the THC might actually be a relief for the Commissioner and possibly the City of San Antonio as well.

For all the reasons I’ve listed above, I encourage and respectfully request you to just say no to the permit application.

Jerry Patterson

Lt Col USMC ret.

Former Texas State Senator

Former Texas Land Commissioner

I spoke to Lee Spencer White founder of the Alamo Defenders Descendants Association and to her credit and fighting spirit she looks forward to the meeting this month and prays for a positive outcome by telling me, “God will intercede for a win.”   We should all have her faith and determination in never giving up, never surrendering.  If you would like to contact the Texas Historical Commission [email protected]

What are the chances the Alamo Cenotaph stays where it is and IF it’s moved what are the chances it does not fall apart and our heroes forever denied their memorial.


The time to FIGHT IS NOW!


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