For over a year now I have been educating myself on both the history of the Alamo and the proposed Alamo Master Plan. Proactively, I have met with hundreds of concerned citizens including the Descendants of the Defenders, the General Land Office, the City of San Antonio, the architect and manager of the project itself, Commissioner George P. Bush, and his representatives. The more I have learned, the more I have become gravely concerned.
Last Thursday evening, Aug 30, the ‘Alamo Citizen Advisory Committee’ voted unanimously to approve the proposed plan, including moving the Cenotaph. The next vote will be Tuesday Sept 4 by the Management Committee. The final vote, to follow soon after, will include the Executive Committee comprised of Commissioner Bush and San Antonio Mayor Nirenberg.
On Friday 8/31, I and four other State Representatives met with Commissioner Bush and engaged in a sit down meeting to fully review ‘The Alamo Master Plan’. We all agreed on restoring the reverence of this sacred site and to expedite the restoration of the existing Alamo footprint and also the visitors center and museum. It was agreed that the State of Texas must not allow the City of San Antonio and the World Heritage Committee (UNESCO) to determine the history and systematic dilution of the importance of the Alamo Battle and Texas independence. The World Heritage Committee decides when a site can be listed as a World Heritage Site and makes sure that the States are properly maintaining these sites. It has been suggested that World Heritage Sites around the world have been subjected to revisionist history.
The Master Lease Plan vote which passed unanimously Thursday, “supports the City of SA entering into a long term lease agreement with the GLO to manage the Alamo Plaza and give the City the ability to monitor compliance”. And according to the Alamo Area Experience Plan Update, it would need to “consider the World Heritage Site nomination and designation and be sure the Alamo area experience Master Plan recommendations do not jeopardize the process and potential designation“. Commissioner Bush said he was adamantly opposed to this lease language and would not vote for it. The State of Texas and the Legislature must protect the sanctity of the Alamo. Now is the time for grassroots activists, elected officials, voters, and Texans who are concerned with the ‘Alamo Plan’, to become deeply engaged.
The plan that was just unanimously approved would, among other things, move the Cenotaph into the ‘Free Speech Area’ where it cannot be protected and will be open to protest and disrespect. Further, and according to the desires of the City of San Antonio and the World Heritage Foundation, the Plan would “provide interpretation of known mission era burial sites around the church and on the north end of the plaza. Using church records that bear the names of hundreds of people, officials hope to place markers that individually acknowledge some of the indigenous people buried in or near the plaza. Along with a statue of William Travis and Juan Rodriguez, an Ervipiame Chief, who lived at the Valero Mission and was instrumental in the founding of the cities missions”. The Tomb of the Alamo defenders will be moved 500 ft away outside the walls.
This current plan must not stand. Now is the time to demand Commissioner Bush to place the brakes on this plan and ‘Remember the Alamo!’ Let’s all stand in prayer and faith and ask Commissioner Bush to tell the UN (World Heritage Committee) and the City of San Antonio not so fast.