SAN ANTONIO – Remember the Alamo. Those three little words earned themselves a place in history to honor the people who died in battle all those years ago.
One of our state lawmakers worries we’re forgetting those sacrifices amidst the businesses that have set up shop atop the battlegrounds, setting the stage for another battle: how do we balance history with commercialism?
Just before dawn this morning, the drums of war stopped pounding and reenactors paused to remember the final moments of the 13-day siege.
"A lot of history here,” tourist Harvey Bell says. “I love to bring family and friends here when they're in town."
But steps away from the solemn shrine are the street life and sounds of a boardwalk.
"I feel like it brings in tourists and attractions,” tourist Sheren Kamalie says.
The combination’s made the Alamo the most popular tourist attraction in Texas.
But State Representative Mike Villarreal worries it sends the wrong message.
"We feel like the way the land has developed to date doesn't properly recognize that this was a battlefield,” he says.
So he’s asking fellow state lawmakers to create what he’s calling an Alamo Museum District Commission. The group would include downtown business owners plus experts in history and museums.
"There seems to be an interest by various groups, including private property owners in the downtown area that, you know, we could do better,” Rep. Villarreal says.
He says the commission would report back to lawmakers with a vision of how to preserve the integrity of the Alamo.
"Maybe we should come together and think about how to make the Alamo a global cultural destination and reclaim its original history,” Rep. Villarreal says.
The commission would only deal with the exterior grounds of the Alamo, not the shrine itself or any of the artifacts inside.
News 4 will follow the bill’s progress and will let you know if lawmakers approve it.