By Maj. Gen. Kieth M. Huber, U.S. Army SouthMarch 23, 2009
FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas - Maj. Gen. Keith M. Huber, commander of U.S. Army South, spoke at the Alamo Mar. 10 in a ceremony honoring the 173rd anniversary of the famous battle there in 1836. Here is the text of his address:
"Remember the Alamo.
These words, this phrase, paint a picture in your mind, swell emotion from your heart; courage, sacrifice, freedom. One hundred and eighty-nine men from 21 states and seven countries, at the conclusion of a 13-day siege in a pre-dawn attack on this day, 173 years ago, died here in the name of freedom. Less than 200 men facing thousands who very clearly understood by the vernacular of the time, by the flag, by the symbols of the Mexican Army, that if they remained here, throughout the night and into the next morning, they could all be killed without quarter. They understood that, they accepted that responsibility in the face of overwhelming odds. We honor their actions today as a source of inspiration.
Remember the Alamo.
We are here to recognize, appreciate another organization of heroes that 55 years after the battle of the Alamo-Mrs. Andrew Briscoe, with her energy and her intellect and her vision and her courage, her actions-created the organization of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas, whose sole focus was to perpetuate the memory, the spirit of the men and women, who achieved and maintained the independence of Texas. And 15 years after the creation of this organization, here in San Antonio, the Alamo Chapter was created with the focus to preserve this site, the Alamo.
In my current duty position, I have the responsibility and the privilege to interact with the armies of the Caribbean, Central and South America-every army commander who comes here to San Antonio to visit my headquarters to interact with U.S. Army South, as we seek ways of mutual cooperation with the goal of making the future better for our children and our grandchildren. I bring every one of those commanders and their wives here, and they know about the Alamo. When I say we're going to the Alamo, it's almost a chorus: "Remember the Alamo." Their recognition and their study of our history-this site touches them. It reminds them of the sacrifice of their similar battles for independence, for freedom.
My wife Shelly and I give a gift to the wives of these army commanders. It's a beautiful drawing by one of our own Texans, Sherry Steele out of Austin, and it's a portrayal, and the title of this painting, this drawing, is "The Lady of the Alamo, Her Name is Courage." It's inspired by Susanna Dickinson, who was one of the six women survivors of the Alamo, who let their husbands have the opportunity the previous night to depart and chose to stay here-in Susanna's case, with her 15-month-old daughter Angelina, clearly understanding that the morning would bring the death of her husband, and all the men, and for all practical purposes everyone who was there, based upon the fierceness of the assault. Shelly and I give this to the wives of these army commanders in recognition of the sacrifice and the strength and the love of our families, of our babies, of our wives, and our daughters. And it resonates very strongly in the hearts of these army commanders within the western hemisphere. We are all the fingerprints of our parents. We are the reflections of the quality of character of our parents and of our families. And so today, as we honor the memory of the Heroes of the Alamo, each of you is a living example as to the quality of their character and their sacrifice.
Remember the Alamo."