Memorial at Alamo - Brownsville Herald: Letters To The Editor

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Memorial at Alamo

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Posted: Wednesday, May 29, 2019 11:53 pm


Texas history has long forgotten the first Memorial Day funeral service held in the Republic of Texas.

After Capt. Juan Seguin had fought for Texas independence in five different battles, Seguin was promoted after the war to lieutenant colonel and commander of the Army of the West (San Antonio). Upon entering the city to assume his command, Seguin discovered to his horror a large pile of burnt ashes and bones in front of the Alamo chapel and two smaller piles of ashes by the Alameda (the city’s east entrance).

It would now be up to Seguin and his Tejanos to perform a military funeral service for the fallen defenders of the Alamo. A carpenter was instructed to build a wooden coffin neatly covered in black with a Texas flag draped over it with a musket and sword on top. The bells of San Fernando church rang from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m., the time of interment.

At 3 p.m., Lt. Col. Seguin and his Tejano soldiers led the funeral procession to the Alameda, where the first small pile of ashes was laid inside the coffin. Three volleys of 21-musket fire were conducted at the first

site, and the same funeral procedure and musket fire was performed again at the second pile of ashes at the Alameda.

Lt. Col. Seguin led his Tejanos carried the coffin in the funeral procession back to the Alamo, where the coffin was laid upon the large pile of ashes with three volleys of musket fire. The eulogy was delivered in Spanish by Seguin which included this: “I invite you to declare to the entire world that Texas shall be free and independent, or we shall perish in glorious combat.”

The coffin and ashes were buried in a peach orchard close to the Alamo, and out of respect for the fallen Catholics, Seguin had some of the ashes buried in a small box in the San Fernando Church in front of the altar by the stairs.

On Memorial Day, we all need to remember that the freedom and liberties we all enjoy were paid for with the blood, sweat and tears of our fallen soldiers. Lt. Col. Seguin and his Tejanos would be so happy and proud to know that this military tribute for our soldiers was started after the Texas war for independence, that they all played an important part in winning.

Jack Ayoub


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