March 6, 1836
March 6, 2005
This morning at dawn, 169 years ago, the defenders of the Alamo fought, and died, to the last man. In the words of Santa Anna himself, they...."defended themselves relentlessly. Not one soldier showed signs of desiring to surrender, and with fierceness and valor, they died fighting. Their determined defense lasted for four hours, and I found it necessary to call in my reserve forces to defeat them. We suffered more than a thousand dead or wounded, but when the battle was over, not a single man in the Alamo was left alive." (The Eagle, The Autobiography of Santa Anna, p. 52) They did as Col. Travis had said they would....they sustained themselves as long as possible and then they died as soldiers who never forgot what was due to their own honor and that of their country.
I have never been to the March 6th memorial service at the Alamo, but this morning I did pause for a short while. I thanked our Father that we had such men to defend us then, (and now), and asked Him for guidance that WE could impact our culture for its betterment. I have to remember that everything we say and do impacts those around us....Each of us can be an instrument of good, or of evil. And we make dozens, perhaps hundreds, of such choices every day. Is it no wonder that we need daily reinforcement?
I am not prone to quoting the architect of the battle of the Alamo, but he did say something later in his memoirs that are worthy of repetition, especially at a time when some forces in our society are pushing so hard to eliminate from our laws any vestige of religion or religious based moral codes. "Oh, that my countrymen would only be convinced that without the sanction of religious beliefs and the conservation of morality neither order or peace is possible. Law itself derives from Justice. But when Law is separated from Religion, it moves contrary to the purpose of Justice. Jean Jacques Rousseau once said: 'Without the sanction of religion, I see only hypocrisy, injustice, and deceit in every man.'" (The Eagle, page 248).
I hope that our own Supreme Court understands this truism as it considers whether our own state capital grounds is an appropriate place to display the 10 Commandments. As James Madison said in 1785, "We have staked the whole future of American civilization, not upon the power of the government, far from it. We have staked the future of all our political institutions upon the capacity of mankind for self-government; upon the capacity of each and all of us to government ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the Ten Commandments of God."
Judge Paul Enlow
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