Imagine, for a moment, that you are Katniss Everdeen – a kickass hero who volunteers as tribute for what can only be a losing battle. Most everyone else in this battle is stuck up and tough and wouldn’t hesitate to slice your throat and you know that your chances of winning are slim to none, but you go in anyway because it is the right thing to do.
The volunteers who fought at the battle of the Alamo were just that – real Katniss Everdeens.
We walk down a steady block of shops each sporting some kind of arcade or game or souvenir. Ripley’s Haunted Adventure! Louis Tussaud’s Waxworks! Tomb Raider 3D! Tourists flutter around. Children hold parents’ hands as their eyes dart around the complex.
From our vantage point, a rectangular, grey statue meets our eyes. The base shows Lieutenant Travis and soldiers who were killed in battle. Underneath the concrete mass lie some of the brave defenders. From the side, we can barely make out the outline of a woman with a garland. She is the spirit of Texas.
In the middle, still on the other side of the road, is a small Spanish-style building. It doesn’t look like much. It has a faded, stone exterior. It’s old and unassuming.
This is the Alamo.
Tip: You can’t take pictures inside the Alamo, so if you are worried about carrying around a heavy DSLR camera and if it is safe to do so, I would just suggest leaving it wherever you are staying.
Inside, the first thing that grabs our attention are the flags. Flags lined against the top of the ceiling, flagpoles lined along the side of the walls, these are the home flags of the volunteers. Many aren’t from Texas. Some aren’t even from the US.
Our feet move slowly over the floor. Fragments of the bodies of some of the unnamed volunteers are buried underneath us. The experience is almost haunting. There is a certain sadness that skirts the once-Spanish mission.
We can tell the battle was bloody. We can tell that it was a cruel defeat. But we know the Texans weren’t dejected. The void in their spirits is filled with revenge. As we cross the courtyard and wander into the next piece of the story, we are transported to the tale of victory and vengeance.
Texas had gained its independence.
When we turn to leave, we can hear the tune of our Mockingjay. “Remember the Alamo” it sings.