Inherit the Alamo: Myth and Ritual at an American Shrine

Inherit the Alamo: Myth and Ritual at an American Shrine

Inherit the Alamo: Myth and Ritual at an American Shrine

Inherit the Alamo: Myth and Ritual at an American Shrine

Excerpt

Our historic battlefields remain our battlegrounds. They are still where we fight the social and political Other, but with images and words rather than with guns. Here we create boundaries between “us” and “them” with identities born from historic individuals, identities inherited by entire groups in current society. Our battle sites, in being the origin of these images, become our most hallowed ground and the object of patriotic pilgrimages.

This study examines one such battle site—the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas—and the conflict of identities continuing there. Visitors to this most sacred site in Texas do not have to ask what the Alamo means. The brass plaque to the right of the front doors outlines the site's progression to sacred status:

The Alamo
San Antonio
de Valero
Mission
Fortress
Shrine
Cradle of
Texas Liberty

The last two titles—Shrine and Cradle of Texas Liberty—reveal the sanctifying death/rebirth scenario attached to the site: as “cradle,” the Alamo, in the center of San Antonio, births Texas.

Because the Alamo is the purported origin of Texas society, claiming its past is a principal means of establishing groups and individuals as being heirs to the present. But whether or not individuals claim the battle site projected in popular press and film depends on the identity they receive there; an increasing number of Texans and Americans have little desire to “Remember the Alamo.”

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.