Greetings, ladies and gents, from Manhattan, KS, and the campus of Kansas State University!
Angela and I are here for the Spring K-State Foundation Trustees meeting; we are both alums. As you read this, I say to y’all — all across America and, especially in my adopted home State of Texas — Happy San Jacinto Day! Now, some of you may be heading to ol’ Wikipedia to ascertain just what the heck West is talking about. If that’s the case, it’s evident you have been done an injustice by our educational system. There will be those of you, who, upon learning the great significance of this day, will come up with some chucklehead PC identity politics crap, and decry this day as racist. To those of y’all I say: go pound sand!
Today is a great day for history in Texas — and America — because it was the day that the Lone Star State truly earned its independence. See, Texas — just like the United States — had declared its independence on March 2, 1836. However, in doing so, they had to fight to earn it. And, just like with America, there were defeats. It was just four days after the Texas Declaration of Independence that the heroic and courageous stand at The Alamo ended on March 6th. Those brave men at The Alamo bought time for Sam Houston and the rest of the Texians. You may remember that it was at The Alamo where Col. William Barrett Travis wrote the infamous and iconic “Victory or Death” letter.
The story of the Texas Revolution hearkens me back to the Persian invasion of Greece under Xerxes, circa 480 BC. It was there, at a faraway place called Thermopylae — called the “Hot Gates” — that Tyranny stood before Liberty and demanded surrender, when those honored words were spoken by Spartan King Leonidas. When told by Xerxes to lay down their weapons, Leonidas replied, “Molon Labe.”
It was in October of 1835, when the Mexican Cavalry demanded their cannon back from the citizens of Gonzales that they responded with the English translation of Leonidas’ famed words, “come and take it.” So it was there at The Alamo, when told to surrender, or face sure death, Col. Travis responded with a cannon-shot.
Does Texas still have men like this?
We all know the story, 189 defenders of The Alamo, slaughtered, given no quarter, and the same was repeated at the Battle of Goliad. And so it was, Mexican General and president, Santa Anna, tracked down General Sam Houston’s forces with the intent to destroy any and all opposition on April 21, 1836 at San Jacinto — present day Harris County, just north of Houston.
Just as word traveled to those at Thermopylae about the brave stand of the Spartans killed honoring their creed of “no surrender, no retreat,” the same could be said of the courageous sacrifice of the 189 at The Alamo, and Goliad. There was a steeled resolve and rugged determination — something we have come to regard of Texas.
But, does Texas still have men like this?
After the Battle of Thermopylae, there was a resounding naval victory for the Greeks at Salamis over the Persians. However, it was not until the following year, on the open plains of Plataea, that the entire Spartan army met the Persians in a great land battle, and decimated the Persians.
And, so it would be for General Santa Anna at San Jacinto.
The Battle of San Jacinto pitted the Mexican Army of 1,360 against the combined forces of Sam Houston, Volunteers and Texians, numbering 910. The battle started on April 21, 1836 at 4:30 pm and by 4:48 pm the Battle of San Jacinto was over! Much quicker than Desert Storm! The forces of Sam Houston were so greatly inspired by the rally cry that it became known all over America: “Remember the Alamo, Remember Goliad!” Sam Houston inspired his men with a simple order, “to the Charge, to the Charge.” In the end, the Mexican Army lost 630 dead, 208 wounded, and 300 captured. Houston’s force had 11 dead and 29 wounded — including himself, with a shattered ankle. It was an utter rout by men committed to the ideals of liberty and to avenging their fallen Brothers.
The victory at the Battle of San Jacinto was the response to the inspiring words of Sam Houston, “be men, be free men, that your children may bless their father’s name.”
Does Texas still have men like this? Does America?
The lesson of this day, this San Jacinto Day, and the lesson from the history of Thermopylae and the American Revolution is that when Tyranny comes knocking, Liberty stands and claims Victory. Liberty does not surrender, nor does it retreat. Liberty does not quit, resign, or retire, it moves to the sound of battle, standing resilient and steely eyed.
In this day when we have this culture of participation trophies, safe spaces, and pajama-wearing snowflakes…do we still produce men like this today?
I say yes! Yes, we do still make men like this in Texas and all over the United States. The problem is that men like this are not the ones who occupy elected positions in places like Houston, Austin, Dallas, San Antonio, El Paso or in many of the urban centers in America. These types of men are exactly what Texas — and America — need today.
These provocateurs and purveyors of a so-called “blue wave” are not the ones who would make a stand at the Alamo, Goliad, or charge the field at San Jacinto. I mean seriously, Beto O’Rourke? You don’t know who that is? Well, I can assure you, chances are he would not make a stand for Liberty. Heck, this fella wants to be the US senator for Texas and he embraces open borders and sanctuary city policies.
Today, all over Texas, the real men and women of the Lone Star State should proudly profess to everyone they meet, “Happy San Jacinto Day!” They should seek out those who have recently moved to Texas from places like California and Illinois, those who are perverting the names of great men like Houston, Austin, and a place like San Antonio with an ideology of tyranny, subjugation, and collectivism…and tell them the story of October 1835 to April 21, 1836.
Turn Texas blue? Ya gotta be kidding me! Always remember that a day after the crushing defeat at San Jacinto, Mexican Army General and president, Santa Anna was captured, hiding, and weeks later signed a document solidifying the establishment, and independence, of the Republic of Texas — the only state that can fly its flag at the same height as the American flag.
Yes, Texas still produces real men, but must guard itself against the males who are invading its borders. Let the words of Sam Houston, a Tennessean, resonate today, 182 years later, “be men, be free men, that your children may bless their father’s name” — April 21, 1836.
Happy San Jacinto Day y’all!
During his 22 year career in the United States Army, Lieutenant Colonel West served in several combat zones and received many honors including a Bronze Star, three Meritorious Service Medals, three Army Commendation Medals, one with Valor device, and a Valorous Unit Award.
In November of 2010, Allen was elected to the United States Congress, representing Florida’s 22nd District.
West is a commissioned officer in the Texas State Guard. He’s Fox News Contributor, former Director of the Booker T. Washington Initiative at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, Senior Fellow at the Media Research Center, contributing columnist for Townhall.com, and author of Guardian of the Republic: An American Ronin’s Journey to Family, Faith and Freedom, and, Hold Texas, Hold the Nation: Victory or Death, and the forthcoming We Can Overcome.