Courage consists of confidence in the face of fear. No one knows this better than the heroes who died protecting our country.
Veterans Day is a time to honor America’s veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.
A fine example of courage under fire occurred in San Antonio, Texas in 1836. Some 200 men were killed defending the Alamo Mission, a key position to the defense of Texas.
Though vastly outnumbered by a force of 6,000 Mexican troops, the Alamo’s 200 defenders held out courageously for 13 days before the invaders finally overpowered them.
This letter, written by Lieutenant Colonel William Barret Travis, was the commander’s courageous plea for assistance in the face of certain death.
Commandancy of the Alamo, Texas
February 24, 1836
To the People of Texas and All Americans in the World
Fellow Citizens and Compatriots:
I am besieged, by a thousand or more of the Mexicans under Santa Anna. I have sustained a continual bombardment and cannonade for twenty-four hours and have not lost a man.
The enemy has demanded a surrender at discretion; otherwise, the garrison are to be put to the sword, if the fort is taken. I have answered the demand with a cannon shot, and our flag still waves proudly from the wall.
I shall never surrender or retreat.
Then, I call on you in the name of Liberty, of patriotism and everything dear to the American character, to come to our aid, with all dispatch.
The enemy is receiving reinforcements daily and will no doubt increase to three or four thousand in four or five days. If this call is neglected, I am determined to sustain myself as long as possible and die like a soldier who never forgets what is due to his own honor and that of his country.
Victory or Death.
William Barret Travis
Lieutenant Colonel, Commandant