The Alamo Defenders Plea to Governor Greg Abbott
by Sonja Harris on June 19, 2020 at 11:47 AM
Lee Spencer White is the leadership, the drive behind the Alamo Defenders Descendants Association. She is a direct descendant of Gordon C. Jennings who fought in the battle and this is precisely why she is dedicated to the Alamo Cenotaph. On Saturday, June 13, 2020 a peaceful protest, ‘Remembering the Alamo Cemetery and its Empty Tomb’, was held to promote the authenticity that a cemetery does indeed exist and to protest the move of the Alamo Cenotaph. They met in front of the Hipolito Garcia Federal Building facing the fenced cenotaph.
A wide banner clearly visible flew above the Alamo Plaza asking Gov. Abbott don’t let Bush move the cenotaph. The time for the move is not known but is expected to take place unless a miracle happens. That miracle might just be the tenacity of White. Her knowledge and commitment to the Alamo Cenotaph is why it is still standing in its original location.
Musical entertainment preceded the program. The speakers included Lee Spencer White state representative Kyle Biedermann, Maggie Wright and the former commissioner to the Land Office, Jerry Patterson.
White in her usual passionate way spoke of a runaway slave from Louisiana named Sarah who ran away with Patrick Henry Herndon an artillery man that ended up at the battle of the Alamo. It was Sarah that helped Herndon man the cannon during the battle. Sarah and Patrick died together, the only couple to die in the Alamo. Her story had been lost to history. White emphasized that, “We all talk about Bowie, Crockett, Travis and Sequin but there were almost 200 hundred people in the Alamo. Their stories have been lost to history and we want to bring those stories to the public eye for the people to know, who the Alamo garrison were.” She continued, “We want to start with an African American heroine and only female to die at the battle. I think that is just extraordinary. So we are going to tell the world that we are very proud of Sarah Herndon. She was an Alamo defender and her name deserves to be on the cenotaph.”
It was obvious that White had a lot to speak about as she mentioned the fact that the Alamo grounds is a cemetery. While the bodies of most of the defenders were burned in fire pyres, some were not. White quoted Santa Anna’s first report stating that, “he had rolled many of the foreigners in entrenchments and ditches.”
White mentioned Edward Everett who years after the battle helped design the plans for the church and the long barracks, (which were left in ruins), into a depot for the United States Army's Quartermaster's Department. Everett found parts of skeletons while working on this project. She quoted from Everett’s report, “we need to keep the church as a relic and a tribute and a shrine to the Alamo defenders.”
White enumerated the dates and places where bones have been found and said there has not been any DNA testing of these remains. She said without DNA testing there is no evidence to unite the veteran to his family members. She stated that George P. Bush has refused to do any DNA testing and if these remains are not from the Alamo defenders she says, “Then Bush should prove me wrong.” “This is a cemetery. Respect the cemetery and treat it like a cemetery” she continued. The Alamo Defenders have started a DNA data base to help identify the remains found on the Alamo grounds. Her bravado is not lost among her supporters and Texans who do not want the cenotaph moved as she continues to petition the Texas Historical Commission and the General Land Office only to find that these pleas have ‘fallen on deaf ears’.
Her introduction for Jerry Patterson was in retrospect a sad one, since some of the Alamo Cenotaph devotees were lost in a daze during the reelection of GP Bush. White said, “Jerry is the type of guy that really and truly cares about history. And I wish he was still the commissioner of the Alamo. We wouldn’t have to be out here in the hot sun protesting what should have already been ours.”
Jerry Patterson is a true Texas Patriot. His personal love of Texas and its history is general knowledge. Ask him any question about Texas history and he will probably give you the answer there and then. As the former General Land Commissioner, he has fought alongside those who wish to prevent moving the Alamo Cenotaph. He sympathetically told the peaceful protesters, “Everyone here is a descendant either by blood or in our heart.” Since he isn’t a descendant he understands.
His speech on Saturday centered on the present defacing of all monuments in the United States and in particular the Alamo Cenotaph. Patterson begun his speech letting everyone know that, “We are engaged in a cultural war, everything about America that is honorable and just and worthy of praise. And it’s not just the Alamo. It’s a cultural war against ignorance by ignorant rebels. They have no distinction about any of this.”
Patterson took exception to an article written in the Express News by Elaine Ayala titled, The Alamo will be remade into a 21 Century Monument to the Confederacy. He made it very clear that the battle of the Alamo had absolutely nothing to do with slavery. He stated that, “If Ms. Ayala’s belief that the Alamo was all about slavery had merit, how do we explain the non-slave holding Mexican states of Zacatecas, Yucatan, Tabasco, Nuevo Leon, and Tamaulipas also seeking independence at essentially the same time? The answer is simple. Texas, and the other Mexican states, shared the same list of grievances, especially Santa Anna’s rejection of the Constitution of 1824 and replacing it with His Excellency himself. While the grievances were shared, the results were not. Texas became independent; the others didn’t. It was rebellion against tyranny by a half a dozen Mexican states. The Mexican prohibition of slavery was not even being enforced in Texas. Texans didn’t die at Goliad and the Alamo defending slavery.”
He also mentioned Marina Starleaf Striker, also of the Express News, referring to a recent Black Lives Matter protestors march to the Alamo because they believed the Alamo to be a Confederate monument. Which, of course, is not true. I am of the opinion that the so called journalists of today no longer do any research to sort out the truth but bend their stories to fit the trending narrative to sell newspapers or even to deliberately misinform the public.
Nevertheless the San Antonio elected officials, the mayor and councilman Robert Trevino are complicit with the media. Instead of coming out with the truth Patterson continued, “In a press conference the day after the Cenotaph was defaced with spray paint, Mr. Trevino seemed more focused on expressing his belief that the future of the Alamo lies in promoting ‘unity,’ ‘healing’, and ‘inclusion’, than he was focused on the heinous act of defacing what is in effect a grave marker to the Alamo’s heroic defenders.” He also believes that GP Bush can stop the move of the cenotaph by being discreet. He told his audience that Bush could pick up the phone, “Call John Nau from the Texas Historical Commission and call all the other commissioners and say, you know if you don’t approve that permit that’s just ok with me. It can be done.”
Patterson ended his speech saying that the defacing and destruction of monuments across the United States prove that these thugs have no knowledge of or appreciation of our history. And that we need to do more to protect our heritage and monuments instead of placing them in more vulnerable locations as they intend to do with the Alamo Cenotaph. “The Alamo Cenotaph should remain where it is”, he concluded.
State Representative Kyle Biedermann spoke of his appreciation of what White has been trying to do. He also credited her with his understanding and knowledge of the Alamo. Maggie Wright read two letters, one from Lt Governor Dan Patrick and one from State Representative Steve Toth.
The desecration of the Alamo Cenotaph took place early in the morning of May 29, 2020 a few days into the peaceful protests after the death of George Floyd on May 25. These protests soon turned violent with looting, rioting and destruction of monuments. The Texas General Land Office is directly accountable for the care of the Alamo which includes the cenotaph. GP Bush is the commissioner and is also responsible for the ‘reimagine the Alamo’ project. He has been firm and unyielding even though the Republican Party has plank 296 in their platform stating that:
Alamo: We believe the Alamo should be remembered and not “reimagined.” We believe Texas’s authority regarding the Alamo shall not be infringed upon by any organization or authority, including but not limited to local governments, the federal government, the United Nations, or UNESCO. We demand that the decision-making authority for the Alamo never be removed from Texas, and the custodians of the Alamo be required to: 1) affirm and emphasize the intrinsic significance of the 1836 battle in telling the story of the Alamo, and 2) maintain transparency in finances and operations of the Alamo. Specific protection shall be afforded the site, including all land and existing monuments, including the Cenotaph, which SHALL NOT be moved from its present site.
In the March 3, 2020 Primary Election, Proposition 7 was overwhelming voted on by 97.3% of Republicans in the state of Texas.
Texans should protect and preserve all historical monuments, artifacts, and buildings, such as the Alamo Cenotaph and our beloved Alamo, and should oppose any reimagining of the Alamo site.
God Bless Texas
God Bless the USA
THE RED REPORT©
Fight, Never Give Up
REMEMBER THE ALAMO