POSTED: Monday, February 25, 2013 - 6:40pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, February 26, 2013 - 10:35am
The iconic "Victory or Death" letter written the commander of the Alamo returned the national landmark Friday for the first time since the 13 day siege at the mission in 1836.
NOTE: The video with this story misidentifies the Daughters of the Republic of Texas. It has been corrected for all subsequent newscasts.
The letter is considered by many to be a Texas treasure and a symbol of American patriotism.
It was written by Colonel William Travis during the siege at the Alamo, and was returned to San Antonio Friday for the first time since it was dispatched by Travis seeking reinforcements during the battle against Mexican forces 177 years ago.
During the ceremony, the letter was read by Sheriff William Travis of Denton County, a descendent of the Alamo Commander.
But, now that the upkeep of the Alamo has passed largely into the hands of the Texas Land Office, will there be upgrades?
“Yes,” says Texas Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson, “you know the north wall where Travis fell is over by the federal building, and the mission itself was much larger than it is now. We want to do something to enhance the experience.”
But tourism is down 15%, and many have faulted the Daughters of the Republic of Texas, who many say have underfunded the facility.
“You know, the daughters are really, really good at loving the Alamo,” said Patterson. “We are now in charge. The Land Office is now in charge of the Alamo. So they can continue to do what they are good at, and we can bring the skills sets to the table that we have.”
The letter is on loan from Texas State Library and Archives Commission and will be on display for 13 days until March 7th.