In February of 1836, Colonel William Barret Travis sent a letter from the Alamo “To the People of Texas and All Americans in the World.” The letter was sent under great duress, as Barret and his fellow soldiers inside the Alamo were besieged by the Mexican Army led by General Santa Anna.
Only 32 men answered that call for Texas Liberty, and they all came from Gonzales. They are known in history as the Immortal 32—32 brave men who marched to certain death in the hope and belief that they would help gain liberty and freedom for their beloved Texas.
Now, almost 200 years later, the call has gone out from the Alamo once again. And again, they are calling on Gonzales for help at the Alamo.
On March 1, the Alamo will be remembering the arrival of the Immortal 32. The Alamo is asking for 32 people to commemorate the arrival of the Gonzales Immortals at the Alamo on March 1, 1836. Their hope is that all 32 people will come from Gonzales to reenact that historic event.
“We really want people to remember the Alamo and the pivotal role the Immortal 32 played in its history,” said Kevin Femmel, Content and Media Specialist, of the Alamo Trust. “We have 13 days of events and programming planned to commemorate the historic events that took place, and we think having the Immortal 32 march in and be recognized is important to the history of this place and to the city of Gonzales.”
According to Femmel, the commemoration event will start at 10 a.m. on the plaza outside the Alamo walls. The Immortal 32 reenactors will assemble there and then march into the Alamo.
A brief ceremony will be held with a few dignitaries speaking, including Alamo CEO Douglas McDonald and Alamo historian Dr. Bruce Winders. Gonzales Mayor Connie Kacir will receive recognition of the city of Gonzales from the Alamo.
Clint Hille, the Tourism Director for the City of Gonzales, is coordinating the recruitment of the Immortal 32.
“Yes, we still need more volunteers to join us on this historic day and event,” Hille said. “Anyone interested in signing up should just contact me at City Hall at 672-2815.”
As Colonel Travis wrote in 1836:
I am besieged by a thousand or more of the Mexicans under Santa Anna—I have sustained a continual Bombardment & Cannonade for 24 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, & our flag still waves proudly from the walls. I shall never surrender or retreat. Then, I call on you in the name of Liberty, of patriotism & every thing dear to the American character to come to our aid with dispatch….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.
In his epic novel Texas, James Michener described the brave men from Gonzales who answered the call of liberty.
In the entire history of Texas there would be none braver than these thirty-two from Gonzales, for each man in this heroic file could say to himself, between thundering heartbeats: I know I’m marching to almost certain death, and I know it’s insane, but I prize freedom above life itself.
James Michener, Texas
After reading these stirring words from Colonel Travis and from James Michener, it is my opinion that it is incumbent on all of us in Gonzales to send another 32 to honor the Immortal 32 who, back in 1936, honored all of us by giving up their lives for liberty and freedom.
I am volunteering, and I hope you will too.
Please contact Clint Hille as soon as possible for our own honor and the honor of those who came before us.