There are those in history that paid for our freedoms with their lives. In 1836 Texas was fighting for its independence from the dictator of Mexico, Santa Anna. A small band of 180 patriots from numerous nations and states, of several races, stood defiant at the Alamo (in now San Antonio,) from Santa Anna's enormous invading army. The leader of the Texian patriots was a 27 year old lawyer from South Carolina by the name of William Barrett Travis. Surrounded by the enemy, Travis penned his famous letter seeking aid for the defense of liberty. It was 180 years ago:

Bejar, Feby. 24th. 1836
Commandancy of The Alamo,
To the People of Texas & All Americans in the World—
Fellow Citizens & compatriots--I am besieged, by a thousand or more of the Mexicans under Santa Anna--I have sustained a continual Bombardment & cannonade for 24 hours & have not lost a man--The enemy has demanded a surrender at discretion, otherwise, the garrison are to be put to the sword, if the fort is taken--I have answered the demand with a cannon shot, & our flag still waves proudly from the walls--I shall never surrender or retreat.Then, I call on you in the name of Liberty, of patriotism & everything dear to the American character, to come to our aid, with all dispatch. The enemy is receiving reinforcements daily and will no doubt increase to three or four thousand in four or five days.If this call is neglected, I am determined to sustain myself as long as possible & die like a soldier who never forgets what is due to his own honor & that of his country--Victory or Death.
William Barrett Travis,
Lt. Col. Comdt, The Alamo.

Mr. Speaker, Col. Travis and his Texians all died defending our freedom at the Alamo. Sixty days later General Sam Houston and his Texians defeated Santa Anna in the marshy plains of San Jacinto, winning independence from Mexico, once and for all. Travis's letter is a remarkable and inspirational statement for freedom and the spirit of liberty. Col. Travis is one reason my oldest grandson is named ``Barrett Houston.''

And that is just the way it is.