Friday, December 2, 2011

Lia's Big Adventure: Remember the Alamo

I'm spending the week in Texas visiting my dear friend Christina (from my NET team) and hanging out with my cousin, taking advantage of the fancy suite her work put her up in for a training in Dallas.

The first half of the week I hung out in Georgetown with Christina & her family. Christina is one of my favorite people and her mom is awesome, so it was really fun to get to hang out with them. Chris and I went out for bar-b-que and did a wine tasting at Georgetown Winery. I spent time at the local coffee shop doing my Cyber Monday shopping and bought some books at the used bookstore. We sat at her home talking and I taught her to crochet.

On Tuesday we took a mini road trip down to San Antonio to see the Alamo. I don't know what I expected but when I got there I was really surprised by how small it was.

It was beautiful though. I had never thought about how it was both a mission AND a war memorial. It was so interesting to see details like the names of Mary and St. Anthony statues along side tributes to those involved in the battle.

As a Catholic Chicana this was kind of a weird stop on my trip. I celebrate Mexico's defeat of the French Army on May 5th. I'm very aware that some of my family has been in the Southwestern United States since it was Northwestern Mexico. So is this the site of Mexico's last stand in Texas? Or as an American do I "remember the Alamo" as a huge defeat that became the rallying cry that lead to further victories against the Mexican government? Or as a Catholic do I view it mainly as a sacred place where Mass was celebrated? When it came down to it, all those conflicting feelings obscured each other and it felt like a generic tourist destination for most of my time there. Still, in the quiet moments before it closed, I was reminded of the sacraments celebrated, the lives lost and the sacredness of the space. Later, on the Riverwalk we took a tour boat and the operator told us one hotel was built several stories shorter than planned when it was discovered a taller building would have cast a shadow on the Alamo at sunset. That sort of respect is remarkable and something Texas clearly does a lot better than California, and I'd be willing to bet MOST other US states.

God bless Texas.

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