It was on this day, one hundred eighty-four years ago, that the independence of Texas was proclaimed by a convention of Texian and Tejano patriots at the town of Washington-on-the-Brazos, near present-day College Station. Nearly a year later in San Antonio on February 25, 1837, one of the heroes of the Texas Revolution, Juan Seguín, gave a stirring eulogy for the defenders of the Alamo who perished during that conflict:
Companions in Arms!! These remains which we have the honor of carrying on our shoulders are those of the valiant heroes who died at the Alamo. Yes, my friends, they preferred to die a thousand times rather than submit themselves to the tyrant’s yoke. What a brilliant example! Deserving of being noted in the pages of history. The spirit of liberty appears to be looking out from its elevated throne with its pleasing mien and pointing to us, saying: “There are your brothers: Travis, Bowie, Crockett, and others whose valor places them in the rank of my heroes.” Yes, soldiers and fellow citizens, these are the worthy beings who, by the twists of fate, during the present campaign delivered their bodies to the ferocity of their enemies; who, barbarously treated as beasts, were bound by their feet and dragged to this spot, where they were reduced to ashes. The venerable remains of our worthy companions as witnesses, I invite you to declare to the entire world, “Texas shall be free and independent, or we shall perish in glorious combat.”
Happy Texas Independence Day, and God bless the once and future Republic!