Treviño Reveals Vision for Confederate Sculpture in Travis Park

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A preliminary rendering of what Travis Park could become, "Travis Memorial Park," at nighttime. Rendering by Councilmember Roberto Treviño.

A preliminary rendering of what Travis Park could become, "Travis Memorial Park," at nighttime. Rendering by Councilmember Roberto Treviño.

Architectural and design renderings can be a powerful tool when trying to communicate a vision for what something should become.

In July Mayor Ivy Taylor suggested that some sort of “interpretation” be installed nearby in lieu of removing the Confederate soldier sculpture at Travis Park as many local leaders had called for.

But what would that “interpretation” look like?

Council member Roberto Treviño (D1) speaks with reporter Iris Dimmick. Photo by Scott Ball.

Councilmember Roberto Treviño (D1). File photo by Scott Ball.

Councilmember Roberto Treviño (D1) has an idea – an idea made tangible through the art of computerized rendering.

As an architect, Treviño has the ability to create visuals out of suggestions and concepts. He did just that for the case of the sculpture in the downtown park in District 1 that honors fallen Confederate soldiers. Two preliminary renderings show what he calls, an “elegant solution” to the local debate.

What if instead of simply, “Lest we forget / Our Confederate dead,” the statue had more context? What if profiles of local civil rights leaders and the movement’s progress surrounded the statue? How about a more complete history of Texas’ and San Antonio’s long history with slavery – even before the Civil War?

That might look something like this:

A preliminary rendering of what Travis Park could become, "Travis Memorial Park," complete with educational signage. Rendering by Councilmember Roberto Treviño.

A preliminary rendering of what Travis Park could become, “Travis Memorial Park,” complete with educational signage. Rendering by Councilmember Roberto Treviño (D1).

“The point is to talk about what really happened regarding Texas, slavery, and the civil war,” Treviño said Monday. “The (Battle of the) Alamo essentially was about slavery, too, but that’s not a popular story to tell.”

Travis Park is named for Col. William Barrett Travis, the slave-owning commander of the Texan troops at the Alamo.

Instead of removing evidence of what some would consider a racist and embarrassing era, “we can try to have the important conversation,” he said, “about where we came from, where we are now, and where we’re going … in a better direction.”

In response to national backlash against Confederate flags and symbols on public property in the wake of the Charleston church murders committed by a racist gunman, communities across the country have begun to reevaluate what message these symbols are sending to current and future generations by seemingly honoring a past wrought with slavery and racism.

Nationally, countless Confederate memorials have been vandalized, initiated in part by South Carolina’s removal of the Confederate Flag from its capitol’s grounds. Many communities and lawmakers have debated the all-out removal of Confederate symbols, others, like the Bexar County Commissioner’s Court, have already decided to do so.

Treviño said his renderings of a possibly renamed “Travis Memorial Park” are not an endorsement of keeping all Confederate symbols in public spaces,  but “I don’t think tearing down history is a good approach.”

Councilmember Alan Warrick II (D2) sent a letter to Mayor Ivy Taylor in July requesting that a task force be formed to seek out and review any Confederate monuments and flags located in public places throughout the city. Taylor tasked City staff with the creation of a report and suggested interpretation and signage as an alternative to removal.

Councilmember Alan Warrick smiles as he arrives to the press conference. Photo by Scott Ball.

Councilmember Alan Warrick II (D2). File photo by Scott Ball.

Warrick, along with several other council members, are supportive of the dialogue and action Treviño’s renderings depict.

“I think it’s really going to be a situation where we can highlight a number of different eras in San Antonio’s history as well as (reinforce the promise that) never again will the Confederate ideals be what we honor and revere,” Warrick said.

He understands the urge to simply get rid of all Confederate symbols, he said, “but I also think this idea can set us apart from these other cities … really all I wanted to do is look at the conversation. I’m so glad that something so positive came out of this.”

What would tearing down the sculpture say about us? Warrick asked rhetorically: What will new generations think of that decision – or will they even have the chance to think of it all?

Whatever messaging ends up on the plaques, which could be funded by City public art funds or philanthropic donations, will likely be up for intense community discussion. There are a lot of stories that intersect at Travis Park – some from voices that always get heard and many that have never had a chance, Warrick said.

“(The message should) bring us closer to unity throughout the different parts of our city … it should demonstrate that we’re working in the right direction.”

*Featured/top image: A preliminary rendering of what Travis Park could become, “Travis Memorial Park,” at night. Rendering by Councilmember Roberto Treviño. 

Related Stories:

Leaders Call for Removal of Confederate Monument at Travis Park

Bexar County Orders Removal of Confederate Plaques

Confederate Symbols to be Removed From County Buildings, City May Follow

Robert E. Lee: Why No School Should Bear His Name

Dixie Flag to Stop Selling Confederate Flags

55 thoughts on “Treviño Reveals Vision for Confederate Sculpture in Travis Park

  1. “The (Battle of the) Alamo essentially was about slavery, too, but that’s not a popular story to tell.”

    Mr. Treveno, you may be an architect, but you’re no historian.

    • The error I made by misspelling Roberto Trevino’s name was inadvertent – and I never have learned how to add the tilde over the “N.”

      Mea culpa.

      • If you’re using a PC with a full-size keyboard, it’s actually quite simple to create an “ñ”. Well, at least fairly simple…

        Make sure your Num Lock key is on. The, while holding down the Alt key, type 0241 on the keypad (Alt+0241). Voila!

        Otherwise, you can use the Character Map app in Windows to copy and paste the correct accented letter….

        • Councilman Roberto Treviño!

          Wow! No more “I’ll learn how to do that mañana” for me!

          [Now all I have to do is remember how to do it…]

          Thanks, Page. Really.

          G.B.L.

    • The Texas Revolution was about slavery and taking the land, livestock, and liberty of Tejanos. Most of the Anglo Americans who fought at the Alamo were illegal aliens fighting for whatever they could get. Travis also abandoned his family when he came to Texas; he listed himself as a single man. I can’t believe we even have a park honoring a man of such low character.

      • Mr. Leal:

        I presume “you are simply repeating the historical fiction that [you’ve] been taught” by “a tenured Texas history professor [at] a reputable university.”

        No matter. I support renaming the park, something I have previously stated (below).

        Garl B. Latham

  2. I offer no comment on the concept of “interpretation” of confederate monuments as opposed to removal of the monuments, but I think tall signage placed in the open area surrounding this statue would be a mistake. The renderings show how it would effectively eliminate the openness of the patio area, eliminate 360 degree views, segment the seating, introduce intimidating wall-like barriers in a small mostly organic feeling oasis, and limit the flexibility of activity in the patio area. I’d like to see the city attempt more restraint than it has in the recent past as regards the urge to constantly clutter public spaces which are created to provide a respite from (when healthy and vibrant) street/commercial district density.

    • I’m basically with you, Mr. Cobb.

      Just get rid of the statue and anything else deemed culturally “offensive,” then rename the park – but keep the land as an urban “oasis.”

      As downtown San Antonio continues to grow and prosper, the intrinsic value of green space will become increasingly evident to residents and visitors, alike.

      Garl

  3. I was pretty on board with this. Then I read “The Alamo was essentially about slavery, but that’s not a popular story to tell”. Not even true – slavery existed at the time period, Mexico outlawed slavery (yet allowed it to practice in Texas and still allowed peasants and natives to be enslaved) but the Alamo’s battle was hardly about that. Texas Declaration of Independence doesn’t even mention slavery.

    I’m all on board with cleaning up that nasty park though.

  4. Upon further reflection I find his intent even uglier than his design. He wants to impose his “conversation” at a place I go seeking solitude, to be able to hear and take counsel of myself. He is in effect attempting to crowd out my own thoughts and replace them with his, and I find that disgusting, disturbing and dishonest.

    • Yeah; that IS the whole point, isn’t it?!

      I wish all the revisionists would just be honest with everyone – including themselves – and admit it!

  5. You need to read a book and educate your damn selves. Read the Texas Declaration of Independence. The rebellion was absolutely about slavery and one of the reasons for the Civil War. The was a debate about new states and slavery. The huge area of Texas as a slave state inflamed the north south debate about new states and slavery.. History is about facts from original sources, not prejudice and opinion.

    • Okay, David; let’s take a look at the facts. Far be it from me to remain uneducated!

      Just now, I finished rereading our Declaration of Independence – the “original source” document in question.

      Not ONE WORD is said about slavery ANYWHERE in that document.

      Period.

      That’s a fact.

      http://www.lsjunction.com/docs/tdoi.htm

      • Garl,
        You need to read the links you provide. The Declaration was all about Slavery,

        >>>When a government has ceased to protect the lives, liberty and property of the people, <>>t has sacrificed our welfare to the state of Coahuila, by which our interests have been continually depressed through a jealous and partial course of legislation<<>>> Slavery as an institution of significance in Texas began in Stephen F. Austin’s colony. … The independence of Mexico cast doubt on the future of the institution in Texas. From 1821 until 1836 both the national government in Mexico City and the state government of Coahuila and Texas threatened to restrict or destroy black servitude. Neither government adopted any consistent or effective policy to prevent slavery in Texas; nevertheless, their threats worried slaveholders and possibly retarded the immigration of planters from the Old South. The Texas Revolution assured slaveholders of the future of their institution. The Constitution of the Republic of Texas (1836) provided that slaves would remain the property of their owners, that the Texas Congress could not prohibit the immigration of slaveholders bringing their property, and that slaves could be imported from the United States (although not from Africa).<<<<

        • The quote is from the Texas State Historical Association. I’m sure they have a pretty good idea of what was historical fact.

          • Steve,

            David Coffman said the honourable opposition needed to “read a book and educate [them]selves.”

            In that context, specifically highlighting the Texas Declaration of Independence, he insisted that the “rebellion was absolutely about slavery.”

            For our edification, Coffman then defined history (presumably meaning the proper study of history) as something which requires “facts from original sources, not prejudice and opinion.”

            This is the reason I chose the Lone Star Junction site as the source for my reply. With little fanfare and no statements of opinion, they provide an on-line facsimile of the original document – along with a word-for-word transcription of the text.

            This was the specific U.R.L. I included with my reply:

            http://www.lsjunction.com/docs/tdoi.htm

            Please note it’s precisely the same link I previously offered as documentation.

            When replying to Mr. Coffman, I emphasized how I’d just “finished rereading our Declaration of Independence – the ‘original source’ document in question.” Therefore, not only had I visited the site prior to sending my post, but I read once again – word for word – the actual document.

            Nary one word about slavery.

            Later, you admonished me, saying I “need[ed] to read the links [I] provide. The Declaration was all about Slavery.”

            So…one more time, I went to the site and read – aloud – Texas’ Declaration of Independence.

            In over 179 1/2 years, the words haven’t changed.

            There’s still not a single mention of slavery.

            Now, in your post script, you did admit the opinion piece you found actually came from a different source – one which I had not previously read and for which I take no responsibility. [You know, even if I had been familiar with the copy, it was not the sort of thing David Coffman had requested; therefore, since I also do not agree with its basic approach to the matter, I’m sure none of the information would have been included in my response.]

            For all I know, it may be the Texas State Historical Association which provides “tenured Texas history professor[s]” in our more “reputable universit[ies]” with their biased information!

            To say slavery, as an economic force, played a role in Texas history would be an accurate statement.

            On the other hand, stating unequivocally that the Texas Revolution (or the Confederacy, for that matter) was “all about slavery” is not only inaccurate, it’s tantamount to claiming the Republic of Texas itself, even as a concept, was solely based upon racist ideals and, due to that reason alone, was intrinsically flawed.

            If that was indeed the case, the land of Texas as we now know it would have been born in illegitimacy, possessing no inherent right to exist.

            This, naturally, calls into question numerous other historical events – and realities of the present day.

            With all due respect to those who disagree, I defy the very notion that these things are true!

            Take care,
            Garl

  6. I applaud Roberto for taking this on in an intelligent way; however, I’m not keen on blocking the Plaza with even more interpretive items and am in complete agreement with James Cobb’s statement above. I can see this will be design by committee unless we seriously want to do design competitions and have renowned artists and sculptors come up with a viable, aesthetically pleasing option.

    How exciting it is to re-fight and re-prosecute the Civil War! It’s almost as if we have no other important issues facing our downtown. How tasty to have this level of distraction to keep us busy in the heat. I would also suggest that we have big, expensive symposiums to debate endlessly with Historian Experts. The process could go on for years.

    Are we that simple-minded that we need additional “interpretation”? I know the answer.

    • Mary,

      When Trevino effectively said that Texas’ War of Independence – OUR war of independence – “was about slavery,” he may as well have walked up to me, looked me right in the eye and spit in my face!

      His insensitive and indefensible remark brings to my mind many different attributes, but “intelligent” isn’t one of them.

      And he’s an elected official of the so-called “Alamo City”!

      I’m getting pretty sick of all this – and I have a feeling it’s only just begun!

      Garl B. Latham

      • Garl,
        Treviño wasn’t spitting in your eye, he is making a factual statement about history that either you purposely don’t want to believe or were never told. Slavery was the underlying issue that motivate Texas Independence. and was basically the first official Republic of Texas action to reinstate it.

        I don’t think the statue should be removed, but some kind of plaque would be good. The rendering makes the plaques look bigger and more blocking than they would in real life. That park need more help anyway in terms of more landscaping, shade, and public space. I agree with Mary and think San Antonio should have a major design competition and DON”T have it done by committee.

        • Oh, how quickly they forget!

          Steve, we’ve already discussed this – more than once. In fact, I’ve written fairly detailed responses here on the Rivard Report’s site regarding this very issue.

          What drove the Texians over the edge wasn’t slavery, but the actions of that bloodthirsty tyrant, Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, the infamous “Napoleon of the West.”

          This fact may be something you “either…purposely don’t want to believe or were never told,” but that’s not my problem.

          What concerns me is something else we’ve already discussed: your duplicity. If you truly believe what you’re saying (and I see no reason to doubt it), then why should ANY statues, monuments or dedications remain which in any way honour the Texian or Confederate causes, whether the “context” has been altered or not?

          If people of your mindset are able to generate enough support, then why shouldn’t you tear down and break apart the mementos? Why wouldn’t you advocate renaming the parks, the plazas, the streets, the school buildings?

          Relegate it all to ancient (and ignorant) times! Tar every enemy with the same brush! Do whatever you want and teach history in any way you wish!

          But stop pretending your actions stem from fair mindedness or a desire to accurately interpret the past. Your viewpoint is at LEAST as one-sided and narrow minded as you believe the opposition’s to be.

          Garl B. Latham

          • Mr. Latham, you are simply repeating the historical fiction that has been taught in our public schools for almost 200 years. Please refrain from embarrassing yourself and fellow Texans by repeating such false statements of history. Please meet with a tenured Texas history professor from a reputable university to learn the truth.

          • Mr. Leal:

            Meeting with “a tenured Texas history professor from a reputable university to learn the truth” concerning Texas’ revolution makes about as much sense as meeting with a doctor of Theology to study the pure and simple gospel message of the Bible!

            Regarding the possibility of embarrassment: I’m not in the least bit concerned, for I am not ashamed of the truth – even though it is not Politically Correct to speak it.

            Garl Boyd Latham

            “And I will yet be more vile than thus, and will be base in mine own sight…” – II Samuel 6:22a

          • I don’t know why you would think I’m being deceitful or dishonest. I believe in what I post here.

            Maybe you didn’t mean to use the word duplicity – maybe you think I’m being hypocritical??

            FYI Some of your responses make it seem that you take people’s comments too personally as an attack when they aren’t meant that way. It’s good to be passionate about something, but this is supposed to be enjoyable, too.

            I have learned a number of things from your responses, some are new and I am glad to consider, others I don’t agree, but I don’t think it should be personal. Just saying.

          • Steve,

            I certainly don’t think you’re being hypocritical! I am totally convinced you believe what you’re saying is true (and have said as much on more than one occasion); however, I chose the to label your approach as duplicitous because of what I see as the natural result of any policies which might be based upon your beliefs.

            For example, you may sincerely feel that certain statues and memorials could remain in place, if “redefined” in some way – at least through the addition of other informational pieces. Still, based upon so many of your previous comments, you obviously stand firm in your opinion that the original items, due to the very things with which they’re associated, bring honour to (and uphold the institution of) slavery – a reality you find abhorrent.

            My question is pretty simple: considering your beliefs, how can ANYthing be made acceptable if it was ultimately designed to glorify the enslavement of human beings?

            Presuming that’s even possible, how might such acceptance be reconciled with the sincere feelings in your heart?

            If it’s NOT possible, the changes required must make the remaining memorials impotent, depriving them of any real meaning. For all practical purposes, they’d be as good as gone.

            That’s where the duplicity comes into play.

            If you were saying the statuary should be removed because of what it represents to you (and many others), that would seem to be an honest proposal, consistent with both your conscience and stated goals.

            If you’re saying the statuary can be maintained on site, for any reason and under any circumstances, then the proposal would seem inconsistent with both your conscience and stated goals and, therefore, dishonest – even if that dishonesty is directed at no one but yourself.

            Now, regarding any issues I may have with presumed “attacks,” personal or otherwise, I’d really like you to know three things:

            1. I’m 56 going on 85 (as it were!). A few crossed swords may have been caused by honest misunderstandings due to age-related differences (such as manner of speech).

            2. I work for myself and rarely have time to participate in these exercises strictly for the sake of enjoyment. In addition, if I care enough to join a discussion at all, I’m probably already “passionate about” the issue!

            3. If someone insults, is hateful toward or blatantly attacks something I’m “passionate about,” such as my family or my homeland, I will continue to consider that a personal affront and react accordingly.

            That’s just the way it is.

            Good-night, Steve.

            Garl

    • Ah, yes: yet another of Dr. Fred L. McGhee’s critiques of Texas history and the various “myths” which fail to jibe with his restricted views.

  7. Treviño said “The (Battle of the) Alamo essentially was about slavery….” No, the battle was about opposition to one of the worst dictators in history. I know of one Alamo defender who had a slave. Please tell me about the others.

  8. I like the conversation about interpretation. Here in Travis Park — and at The Alamo — as we consider how we move forward with collective understanding into the 21st century.
    There was an excellent opinion piece in this morning’s E-N by artist Rolando Briseno regarding this very subject.

    Although Mary answered her own final question in an oblique way, I’ll just be blunt. Yes, we do need interpretation. We need interpretation because we must face the fact that history has not (and still isn’t) being presented in an honest, forthright or accurate way in our schools. Why not present the whole picture? Clearly, we are not remotely past needing to have informed conversations regarding our understanding of our collective history and how it still imprints on our culture.

    Kudos to councilmember Trevino for beginning the conversation in an intelligent way. I think it would be wonderful to see San Antonio in the forefront of a constructive way forward, because this has indeed become a national discussion. A design competition? That’s a great idea, Mary. Always room for more good design in our city.

    • Tami,

      If Treviño honestly deserves kudos for his display of intelligence, then how much more “discussion” is possible?

      One of the first things I noticed yesterday morning when I turned to the Express-News’ editorial page was that “excellent” essay by Rolando Briseño. At first, I was with him; however, by the time he began citing his worries about UNESCO’s opinion of Texas and Texans, my enthusiasm began to wane. When he wrapped things up with a regurgitation of how the “Confederacy was for slavery, pure and simple” and his three-word summation of Jim Bowie’s life: “swindling slave trader” – well, I had lost all hope.

      It’s my turn to be “blunt,” Tami: we do NOT need new-and-improved “interpretation,” much less “collective understanding” or “informed conversations.”

      We need to purge this city of everything which glorifies Texas or Confederate history – at least the parts involving those former “heroes” who are now apparently viewed by the intelligentsia as little more than bigoted, racist, money-hungry slave owners. We need to teach history in an “honest, forthright [and] accurate way” by eliminating the classic tales and replacing them with stories which present a progressive version of “the whole picture,” sans 21st century undesirables.

      Perhaps then we’ll have achieved some semblance of peace.

      I do find it fascinating that, for the most part, our revisionist history will teach “Anglo” Texans of tomorrow to feel little more than SHAME for their ancestor’s efforts, despite the fact their great-great-great-great-great-grandparents’ dreams and goals led to the creation of this homeland we now prize above all others.

      Did their predecessors do all the work by themselves? Absolutely not.

      Would the Texas we know today – warts and all – even exist had it not been for their work? Absolutely not!

      You know, there’s a difference between a general understanding of history and the use of history as a bludgeon. Maybe if I was convinced the revisionists accepted that distinction, I’d feel better about things.

      Garl Boyd Latham

  9. How about being environmentally conscious and keeping it green? No more plaques/plastics/inks to install and maintain. A tree will outlast you and your kids. Put in some much needed shade. How about a small gazebo/fountain with greenery! Keep your lights, your plaques and your names and places in the museum. This is a city park, for the people. A tiny piece of land in the middle of a concrete and metal jungle. Keep it a park. If its not evident I think the lights and plaques are a horrible idea. 🙂

    • Cooksterz–Could not agree more! We need more people like you offering their opinions to our city leaders, who don’t seem to understand the concept that LESS is MORE, and that green space will never go out of style! Please attend the city meetings on the San Pedro Creek Project–too many of those providing input are of the “mosaics and light-up water fountains of concrete” camp… I’m worried we’re just going to be building another Riverwalk…

  10. A simple solution would be to remove the statue to a museum and then put up a statue of Alamo Commander William Barret Travis. What was a Confederate statue doing in Travis Park anyhow? Many visitors think it is a statue of Travis.

    • But Ned, you must understand:

      We cannot have a statue of Lt. Col. Travis in Travis Park – we shouldn’t even have a “Travis Park”! – since Travis was a slave owner and, therefore, tainted with all the evils of that institution.

      Just like those who claim they’re justified in their vilification of Robert E. Lee, we must take the high road and unilaterally condemn Travis…right? There is no honour in anything he did and no reason to remember him…is there?

      Surely, our subjective standards of morality can’t stand the strain!

    • The last thing we need is a statue of Travis, a man who abandoned his family when he came to Texas and listed himself as a single man. He was a known womanizer with an unsavory reputation. We do not need to be honoring a man of such low character and morals.

  11. if this town only knew the history behind it…OMG everything will be elgantly torn down and replaced with something….LOL… and then…What will San Antonio will be known for when it struggles with its own Identity….my poor little town… I never even knew there was a confederate statue there….LOL…

  12. Masterful, visionary, tells the story even as it continues to unfold. Great for getting the dialogue started too.

    • Xavier, as this “continues to unfold,” there will be no dialogue. Only monologue.

      After all, how might anyone with ancestral ties to the Republic or the C.S.A. expect their part of the story be fairy and accurately told?

      Those who hold the reins have already decided the legacy of Texas and the Confederacy can be simply summed up in one simple phrase: it’s “all about slavery.”

      How might one defend his forebears, when the greatest insult in today’s United States is to be called a “racist”?!

      What you see as masterful and visionary, I see as hateful and blind.

      Think we can have a dialogue around that?!

  13. Travino needs to be voted out of office for such a stupid idea and a waste of money. I can’t believe he gets a salary now.

  14. Holy light pollution, Batman!

    Can we not? San Antonio is already horrible about light pollution and our unsightly light mess is encroaching on nearby natural areas that have otherwise been designated as dark sky areas. (*cough*Enchanted Rock*cough*)

  15. I’m with Mary.

    Let’s ask her, along with James Cobb, Tim McHugh, Jack Guerra and “cooksterz,” to form a committee with this singular goal: maximise the practical use of the space currently known as Travis Park.

    Design the site with (living) people in mind. Plant trees. Build benches. Maintain water fountains. Keep the area secure. Encourage multi-use development on adjacent surface-level parking lots (which are anathema in an urban setting).

    Create what Jack called “a simple elegant urban park.”

    Move the bronze men to a local museum and celebrate our “collective history” in the finest way possible: by inviting EVERYONE of EVERY demographic to enjoy the space, TOGETHER!

    THAT’s what we need!

    Garl B. Latham

    P.S. When (not if) streetcars are (re)established along Broadway, the car line will be just one block east. Ah, to dream!

    G.B.L.

    • Please excuse the “bronze men” metaphor. I thought of the band Chicago and their song “Saturday in the Park,” then sort-of got caught up in the moment!

      “Listen, children: all is not lost.”

  16. Well, that’s it. Better tear down the Alamo.

    Much like the so called conversation on race, this is no conversation. A conversation is supposed to be a dialogue not a soliloquy.

    • I understand, CC.

      Look on the bright side: at least that might save the building from being desecrated!

      Taken to its ultimate conclusion, this ostensible desire to be more “inclusive” in our telling of history will eventually relegate the Alamo as we know it – and all it represents – to the status of “white” propaganda: self-justifying in its application, racist in its intent.

      In its place will be a new version of Texas history, rewritten to embrace the stories of everyone – save members of the so-called “majority.”

      Those who are ashamed of Texas will claim the Alamo for use as a backdrop to legitimise their efforts, enabled by “tenured Texas history professor[s] from…reputable universit[ies]” who spread their version of the “truth” with reckless abandon.

      Garl Boyd Latham

      “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge…” – Hosea 4:6a

  17. We should rename Travis Parks after the Canary Islanders and have a pavilion built in their honor and the Franciscan Priests who built the Alamo. That is certainly better than Travis, a known womanizer who abandoned his family when he came to Texas.

  18. The Travis Park walking tour brochure contains this bit of interesting historical information about the monument itself :
    “The development of Travis Park into a formal urban square was a result of the City Beautiful Movement which sought to integrate beauty and order into the urban landscape during the 1890s and early 1900s. This coincided with an increase in the establishment of Civil War memorials following the death of Robert E. Lee in 1870 and the end of Reconstruction in 1877. Cities throughout the South began memorializing their Confederate dead.
    “The focal point of Travis Park is the Confederate Civil War Monument in the center. The monument was erected in 1899 and was funded by the Barnard E. Bee Chapter of the Daughters of the Confederacy. The park had served as a camp for Confederate soldiers, and reportedly, a hospital for wounded soldiers was located on the site.
    “The Confederate monument faced some resistance during construction. An April 1, 1898, Daily Light article indicated opposition on the grounds that the “monuments erected today will be the scoff of a later generation.” Despite controversy, the monument was completed in 1899 at a cost of approximately $3,000. The ceremony for the laying of the foundation stone on June 4, 1899, was attended by veterans of both the Union and Confederate armies. ”
    Unlike the Vietnam memorial, for example, the park’s theme statue was not erected right after the war when families who had lost loved ones were still in grief. Rather, it was erected during the decade which, along with what is mentioned in the brochure, saw the beginning of Jim Crow, when social and political leadership in Texas and throughout the South was heavily Ku Klux Klan Democrat. The intent of casting a favorable light on the lost cause was part of the leadership’s program and famously brought about the first historical revision of the war, restating it as a “state’s rights” encrouchment without mentioning that the only state’s right that was really at issue was the South’s peculiar institution, slavery.
    Perhaps it is the history of the park that should be brought to light in the interpretation along with of the history of the dead it purportedly memorializes.

    • Construction of the national Korean War memorial wasn’t begun until almost 39 years after the armistice was signed. Groundbreaking for an official memorial commemorating those who served in World War II took even longer: over 55 years.

      You’ll need to look someplace besides the calendar for proof of your point.

      You know, I’ve always figured the relative rush to build a Viet Nam memorial had more to do with the citizenries’ collective guilt regarding their treatment of veterans than any particular grief felt by loved ones. Of course, it might also be the fact that the Viet Nam War was the first war the U.S. ever lost.

      Surely, it must be something more than an attempt to honour those who offered the ultimate sacrifice! Perhaps the answer will need to wait ’til some historical revisionists are able to cast a clearer light on the matter.

      I wonder what things we find important that will be the scoff of our grandchildren?

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