The Alamo is small, beautiful building that is close to the hearts of Texans. When I told my father, a native Texan, that we had gone to visit the Alamo, he said that he can’t see it without tearing up it is so moving.
From Ground Zero in New York to Pearl Harbor in Honolulu, the team has visited the major monuments of heartache and triumph of the United States. What these places, battles, and sometimes myths built up around them mean for Americans is a major part of who we are. Craig, from Boston, related it to the Battle of Bunker Hill, a similar emotive battle during the Revolutionary War respected among Americans. It serves as a reminder to us how we have to protect the fragile freedom we have and to thank those who have sacrificed in order for us to have the life we do now.
Yet not all Americans view these events in the same way and non-Americans may have some novel curiosity about them, but little emotional connection. For Ibrahim and Mena, Ambassador Ahmed’s grandchildren who live in Britain and joined the team for a week, they had little emotional connection to the Alamo or frame of reference for understanding it. As Frankie and Jonathan mention, Mexicans view the war very differently and after the Mexican-American War, relations and views of history only diverged more between Americans and Mexicans.
What is universal about the Alamo, though, is that it was the site where men fought for their independence, freedom, and culture. The “Texians” and “Tejanos” that fought at the Alamo 173 years before that very day we were there believed that they were fighting for their culture and their beliefs. The Alamo powerful serves as a monument to that noble, fighting human spirit and to the best state in the union, Texas 😉