Crowds commemorate 180th anniversary of Battle of the Alamo

‘Dawn at the Alamo' event honors sacrifices made by both armies at the Alamo

SAN ANTONIO – Before sunrise Sunday, a large crowd of people gathered around the Alamo shrine to partake in the “Dawn at the Alamo” event.

"I had distant relatives that fought in it and also this is part of my Texas heritage. It’s one of the few things left on this Earth that we can still come and honor in our own ways-it’s a very cherished part of Texas," said Bob Henson, who has come out for the event for over 20 years.

The commemorative ceremony was held at 6 a.m. Sunday to honor and remember both armies who made the ultimate sacrifice 180 years ago.

In the two weeks leading up to the March 6th, Santa Ana and his army would fight several small skirmishes at the Alamo. Then in the early morning hours of March 6th the Mexican Army advanced on the Alamo, leading to the fall of the Texians. Less than 50 people, out of nearly 250, inside the Alamo survived the battle. A few noncombatants were sent to tell the news of the fall of the Alamo.  

“This event is important around the world because of the simple message of about basic human sacrifice over and against all odds. It has nothing to do with labels-every ethnicity, every nation, every culture understands what this is about,” Gary Foreman, founder of San Antonio Living History Association.

“I was talking to a couple from Rhode Island and they said they didn’t want to complete their lives without coming to Texas and seeing the Alamo,” said Henson.

Re-enactors read stories and presented flower wreaths to honor the soldiers killed in 1836.

“It gives us a chance to study and see what really happened in those days and to recreate it-it’s really nice," said Bill Barnett, former president of San Antonio Living History Association.

The special ceremony also featured playing of the bagpipes, a musket firing, and a lighting of 13 candles to symbolize each day of the siege.

“Something unique happened here that needs to be shared,” Foreman said, “I think the most important thing is that history is not about names, dates, or places -- it’s a story, a living story, and it’s not stuck in the old books. If it is, it’s your turn to bring it out.”

Throughout the year, the Alamo hosts several educational and ceremonial events. For more information, click here.