Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Rules to live by: (1) Always post a sentry during the afternoon siesta; (2) Choose your underwear very carefully.
Today is a day dear to the hearts of Texans everywhere, young and old, near and far, past, present, and probably future. For the record, I was not born in Texas. I moved there when I was six and moved away when I was 20, but I received a thorough indoctrination while there.
Today is the 173rd anniversary of the Battle of San Jacinto that occurred on April 21, 1836, not far from present-day Houston. If you are not familiar with the battle, you can read all about it here. I hope you take the time to read the entire article, because it is a truly fascinating account. If you do, then and only then will you understand the title of this post.
Texans, being Texans, are justifiably proud of having defeated General Antonio López de Santa Anna’s Mexican forces in a fight that lasted just 18 minutes. Hundreds of Mexican soldiers were killed or captured, but only nine Texans died.
Texans, being Texans, decided to erect a little monument in recognition of that fact. The San Jacinto Monument turned out to be the world’s tallest memorial column, 55 feet taller than the Washington Monument in Washington, D.C.
And Texans, being Texans, also decided to engrave the following modest inscription on the base of the monument:
“Measured by its results, San Jacinto was one of the decisive battles of the world. The freedom of Texas (not part of the United States at the time) from Mexico won here led to annexation and to the Mexican-American War, resulting in the acquisition by the United States of the states of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Nevada, California, Utah and parts of Colorado, Wyoming, Kansas and Oklahoma. Almost one-third of the present area of the American Nation, nearly a million square miles of territory, changed sovereignty.”
As Mama used to say, “Don’t break your arm patting yourself on the back.”
Still, my indoctrination seems to have worked. Today’s post is about San Jacinto.