In my maturity, I have come to approach sacred and iconic places with far more reverence than I once did. I walked around the exterior of the Alamo, both before and after entering the Long Barracks and the Shrine itself. I viewed the ten minute film on the siege, with about twenty other people. Mostly, though, I was in my own thoughts during my time here- cap off, camera put away, while inside the two hallowed buildings, and mind focused on the process of securing and maintaining a free society. I was, and am, grimly mindful of the irony that both sides were seeking to maintain a slave-based economy. The Texans’ fight, however, did obliquely set the stage for the eventual emancipation of Black people, and many freed slaves did gravitate towards Texas’ back country, upon being released.
Let us approach the Long Barracks.
The siege of this building, and of the Shrine, has to be felt from within the confines of the buildings themselves. Thus, photography would tend to detract from the experience, and is not allowed on the inside.
This Live Oak was planted in 1912, and is thus a celebrity in its own right, this year.
This archway was restored in time for the Texas Republic’s Centennial, in 1936. The section of wall which is seen below, however, survived the battle in 1836.
The Alamo Mission has been splendidly restored. It was originally built as one of the five area missions to the Coahuiltecans and Comanches.
The Centennial Commission took great care to adorn the courtyard with local flora, also. I found prickly pear cacti clear to the Gulf Coast. They are well-represented here.
This marker is also a survivor of the battle in 1836.
Finally, those who find themselves exhausted by the visit to this great shrine can amble over to the Emily Morgan Hotel, just across the street to the north.
Approached with reverence, regardless of the crowds, the Alamo provides plenty of food for thought and meditation.
Next: Day 6, Part 3: Riverwalk and La Villita