My wife Sweetie and I had the pleasure of making our first visit to San Antonio last weekend. After living in Texas for just over a year, we've just barely "scratched the surface" of places we want to see in the Lone Star State. We were invited by our friend Craig Morris (who happens to be Loretta Lynn's keyboard player--see my previous post) to come see Loretta's show at the Majestic Theatre, so we decided to make a weekend of it. Well, I knew if we were going to go to San Antonio, I had to see the "Birthplace of Texas Liberty," the Alamo.After enjoying Loretta Lynn's show Friday night, we got up on Saturday morning with two destinations we wanted to visit: San Antonio's famous Riverwalk, and what is possibly the most sacred ground in the Lone Star State, the Alamo.

As we approached the entrance, I knew that--even though I am not a native Texan--this is a very special place. We explored the courtyard and the grounds, and looked at the various memorials therein.

Inside the actual building (where cameras and other electronic devices must be turned off out of respect and courtesy to others there), we saw history seem to come alive, as the story of the events leading up to that fateful day of March 6, 1836 were described and illustrated. The artifacts on display inside also help to tell the story of those 200 or so brave men who--against an overwhelming Mexican Army force led by General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna--defended the Alamo for 13 days, only to die for the freedom of Texas in the final, bloody battle. It is truly a remarkable story of valor, bravery and a patriotism that only Texans seem to possess.

My wife and I posed in front of the display of the six flags that have flown over Texas. We bought a few cool souvenirs from the gift shop, and then headed for the Riverwalk. As we stepped outside of the Alamo walls, we saw the huge stone monument near the Plaza, and paused to read the names of the defenders of the Alamo. It was a solemn reminder that freedom is never free; it almost always comes at great human cost.

Now, if you're a native Texan, you're probably very familiar with the saga of the Alamo. However, if you're not originally from Texas, and have never really learned what it is that makes this humble outpost the hallowed ground it has become over the last 177 years, you need to pay a visit to San Antonio, and see for yourself the "birthplace of Texas liberty." My own knowledge of the Alamo prior to our visit was pretty much limited to the various movies depicting the battle, and one particular song from 1988 by the Austin-based band, The Wagoneers. It's the title cut to their debut album from that same year, "Stout And High." Listen to the lyrics, and in just under 4-1/2 minutes, you get the story of the Alamo, and a chorus that will stay with you for a long time.

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