We found much more than a monument to Sam Houston when we visited the place he was buried. We found a tableau of our history. Dating back over 150 years, we passed by the tombs of men who fought for Texas Independence, men who died during the Civil War, and many of the men, women and babies who died when a yellow fever epidemic swept through Texas in 1867. The sacrifice that made it possible for us to become Texas is all here, on this hallowed ground.
Maybe Sam Houston finally got his props when they built that 67′ statue of him on I-45 at Huntsville. He is our George Washington â€“ Commander of the Texas Armies, President of the Texas Republic, and Senator and Governor of the State of Texas. He was also a citizen of the Cherokee Nation. Not an honorary citizen, but an actual member of the tribe who took a Cherokee woman named Tiana as his second wife. Heck, he’s what John Wayne wanted to be when he grew up.
This is an old boat â€“ almost 100 years old. It has served in two World Wars, and participated in the battles on D-Day, at Iwo Jima, Okinawa and Guadalcanal. It was by far my son’s favorite destination on our Texas Tour. But what caught my attention most was the claustrophobia below deck â€“ the low ceilings and bunk beds chained to the roof and walls wherever there is room. God bless the 1700 men who sailed on each of her missions in defense of our country.
Outnumbered. Do or die. With a dash of luck for good measure. This is the kind of stuff that makes you a Texan. The Battle of San Jacinto is our Waterloo, our Gettysburg. Not just the decisive battle that birthed the Republic of Texas, but decisive for our adopted nation and the nations of the world. Remember the Alamo. Remember Goliad. Remember San Jacinto.
This is the first in a series of photographs from our family’s Texas History Tour. I know. I know. What kind of nerd takes his family on a history vacation? Me, apparently. On the first leg of the tour, we went down to the coast through Freeport, drove on the beach, and then took the coast road into Galveston. If it had been the Bahamas, the kids wouldn’t have been more excited.