By Sgt. Lee Ezzell, U.S. Army NorthMarch 8, 2013
SAN ANTONIO - The senior commander for Fort Sam Houston and Camp Bullis' delivered the key note address at the Alamo March 6 during the annual memorial service at the Cenotaph in Alamo Plaza.
Lt. Gen. William Caldwell IV, who also serves as the commanding general U.S. Army North (Fifth Army), was flanked by an Army color guard bearing the flags of the states and nations of those who died at the Alamo 177 years ago.
He invited those in attendance to picture the Alamo as it appeared all those years ago.
As Caldwell verbally painted the historic scene, he reminded those present that, regardless of the various backgrounds of the warriors, they were united under one cause.
Caldwell, drawing sentiments from a letter originally written by Private Daniel Cloud, who died in the battle of the Alamo, to his brother, John, in which he concluded that because of the ideals of "… humanity, liberty and human happiness, we will always remember the Alamo."
The memorial service, conducted by the Alamo Mission Chapter, Daughters of the Republic of Texas, also featured several presentations by the San Antonio Living History Association, including a flintlock volley in memory of the fallen and a reading of a letter to Gen. Sam Houston from William Travis. The letter was read by Phillip De La Pena, vice president, San Antonio Living History association, who dressed as Travis for the reading.
The "Travis Letter" was penned within the walls of the Alamo by Col. William Travis just days before the Alamo fell.
Charles Cheever, president emeritus, Broadway Bancshares, called out the name of each state, or Nation, as well as the number of their heroes who died in the battle of the Alamo. As he did this, Fort Sam Houston Soldiers, who bore that particular flag, rendered a salute.
Staff Sgt. Luke Jefferson, 323rd Army Band, played "El Degüello," the last music heard by the defenders in the Alamo that day in 1836, which signifies the order for complete destruction of the enemy. The music was played by the sieging army's band as the battle raged, said Jeanie Travis, local historian and former president of the Alamo Chapter, Daughters of the Republic of Texas.
Jefferson also played Taps, the traditional army bugle call, to conclude the ceremony.