The election is over, and we did not meet our goal, but we did not fail. Only had we done nothing would we have failed. I cannot say that about my contributors and helpers who sacrificed so much to save our beloved Alamo from Bush’s plan that will now become a reality. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I have no words to express how much your help and encouragement meant to me. We made a formidable team and I’m proud of you.
If there is a consolation that we can take away from this, it’s that some of the elements of the reimagine plan—those that the planners most mention—nobody objects to. We all want the structures stabilized and preserved. We all want streets closed and the battleground footprint recaptured. Doing away with the tourist-trap businesses across the street is a plus in everybody’s mind. We all want a world-class museum for artifacts, including the Phil Collins collection that now sits in a warehouse somewhere.
It’s the line items they don’t present to the people—that they skirt whenever questioned—that we always took issue with. Moving the Cenotaph—is that to satisfy those who also have called for removal of Civil War monuments? Wiping out all the vegetation in the compound—is that to recreate the barren appearance of the plaza or to clear the view from atop the museum where they plan to put a restaurant and observation deck? If that’s the case, then why do they plan an interpreted acequia along the front of the museum complete with flowing water which did not exist at the time of the 1836 battle? Why do they plan canopies and picnic tables along the inside of one wall? Why is it necessary to wipe out the botanical garden behind the Church if the view they desire is from across the street at the front of the Church?
But more than the physical changes, we object to the historical inaccuracies and the total disrespect for the sacred site and the defenders who died there—for all who died there—women and children sheltered at the Alamo those thirteen days. We know of 189 defenders, but the body count runs up to 257, depending on the report we consult. Women and children died there too.
The Alamo is not an attraction, not a theme park, not a city park for leisurely strolls. It’s a place of reverence, honor, and respect for the events that took place there in the name of liberty and the right to self-govern when a despotic President in Mexico took iron-clad control of the region, disallowing immigration, taxing trade, and refusing pleas from Texans—whom the Mexican government threw in prison.
Yes, my friends, we fought a good fight. And to tell you the truth, I can’t for the life of me figure out why so many other Texans just rolled over and let it happen. Unfortunately, they’ll get the Alamo they deserve, but we also will lose the Alamo we deserve.
In my estimation, defeating George P. Bush at the polls was the last-ditch effort, the fallback plan, the last stand for brave Alamo defenders in 2018. With every other avenue exhausted, and believe me, we flooded the Austin government offices with our objections to avail naught. It is ironic that again, a government that refused to listen to the pleas of the people, trod all over our rights, shoved forward with this plan and used our tax dollars to do it.
The news media, those fine, non-biased, agencies whose sole function is to report facts, refused to report in the beginning, and then when things got soupy for Mr. Bush and the handling of his office, it was reported in two or three sources, but other major media across the state refused to pick it up. I must believe that Texans would have responded had they been made aware in time to cast an educated vote.
Thank you again. It was an honor to work with you all.
I know you have all seen the disastrous election results. The fate of my particular campaign is irrelevant, but with the failure of any of us to pull George P. Bush into a runoff, the Alamo is now lost. Bush and his minions will be completely free to do whatever they want—including the removal of the Cenotaph.
To those of my supporters who worked so hard and sacrificed as much as they could to help me save the Alamo—I can never thank you enough. I will be eternally grateful. You are the true patriots. To the 98 percent plus of our more than eight thousand “followers” who did absolutely nothing—You will now get the Alamo that you deserve.
I will tell you that despite the generosity of a relatively small number of individuals, I paid for well over 90 percent of this entire campaign directly out of my own pocket. However, I have no regrets. I would do nothing different. My only regret is that we were not successful.
The news media of this state from day one utterly and totally failed in their duty to inform the citizens about the dire situation at the Alamo.
Nevertheless, I am satisfied that we did everything humanly possible for over seven months to educate them. To this day many of them still do not know. But I do believe that enough were aware that we should not have had this outcome at the polls.
I can only conclude that, regardless of Bush’s abject failure in nearly every aspect of his job responsibilities, and his complete refusal to even appear at any of the multiple campaign events to ask for their vote, the majority of the current citizens of Texas considered it more important to blindly vote for a famous last name in spite of any other consideration. Many who did know about the Alamo plight apparently did not care. And if there were ever a scoundrel who deserved a severe thrashing at the polls, it was he. A man who has more than once publicly committed to eliminating our heritage. Evidently a majority of “Texans” now consider it alright for a scalawag like George P. Bush to bring in out-of-state carpetbaggers to dishonor the Alamo and line their pockets with millions of our tax dollars in the process. I find this beyond belief. In any case, the people of Texas neglected to answer the call. So be it.
Texas has failed the Alamo once again, and this time there is no excuse. The storied Alamo of fame and glory will finally be erased, but the people of Texas are no longer worthy of it. They too will get the Alamo they deserve, and unfortunately, so too will all of posterity.
I have but one consolation: Some of us tried.
Tony E. Arterburn, Jr. is a former U.S. Army Paratrooper, veteran of three foreign wars, radio host, published columnist, and world champion powerlifter. He lives with his wife Melissa, son Houston, and chocolate lab Layla in San Antonio, Texas. Find him on twitter @tonyarterburn.
He was kind enough to allow us to post his thoughtful and thought-provoking piece. It's worth the read.
VOTE IN THE REPUBLICAN PRIMARY MARCH 2—LAST DAY OF EARLY VOTING, OR MARCH 6—ELECTION DAY.
The Alamo is under attack again. It is being led by the very conservator commissioned to preserve it—Texas Land Office Commissioner George P. Bush. His REIMAGINE THE ALAMO Master Plan will destroy the Alamo as we know it.
As a 31-year first responder firefighter, Rick Range is very cognizant of and sympathetic to the issues suffered by a great many of our veterans. Serving their needs will be one of his very top priorities. Housing needs and mental health are two of the most pressing problems that need addressing.
In 2015 – 2016, Texas experienced six federal disaster declarations that spread across 160 of the state’s 254 counties. These disasters impacted more than 76 percent of the state’s population. Range will work to ensure that Texas gets its fair share of CDBG-DR Funds.
Rick Range is a fourth-generation Texan and a lifelong resident of Dallas County where his family has lived since 1890. He graduated from Irving High School and then attended North Texas State University in Denton and West Texas State University in Canyon where he received his B.M.E. Range taught at the junior high and high school levels before becoming a career firefighter with the Mesquite Fire Department. Here he served for over 31 years as a Driver-Engineer and also as Spanish translator for both the fire and police departments.
For the last dozen years, Range has been heavily involved in research for a book covering all aspects of the Alamo and the Texas War for Independence. He serves as a Board Member of the Alamo Society, an international association of Alamo scholars, researchers, and dedicated enthusiasts. Also a member of the Alamo Battlefield Association, the San Jacinto Battleground Conservancy, and an associate member of the Alamo Defenders Descendants Association, he has spent nearly twenty years in Alamo research in both English and Spanish.
A few months ago he founded the Save The Alamo Committee along with its associated website and social media in order to get the word out to the voters of Texas about George P. Bush’s disastrous REIMAGINE THE ALAMO Master Plan. On November 1, Range publicly announced his candidacy for the office of Texas General Land Office Commissioner to replace George P. Bush.
What you need to know in a nutshell.
We will soon stop posting to this website, but we will continue the Alamo battle on the www.savethealamo.us website and the Save The Alamo community Facebook page.
Since the election, other possible options have arisen. All may not be lost just YET. Please continue to follow us on those sites for future updates.