AP NEWS

Cenotaph supporters were not listened to

March 29, 2019

In a JB Media phone survey conducted in July, Texans were asked if the Cenotaph should be moved from its current location. An astounding 60 percent of people said that the Cenotaph should stay where it is on the battlefield where the Alamo defenders died for our freedom. Only 5 percent of those surveyed wanted the Cenotaph to be moved, with 35 percent not having enough information or having no opinion.

Most Texans agree that the Alamo and the Cenotaph should be preserved and protected. Unfortunately, agreements were signed and votes taken against the will of the people. Despite the many letters that I and other legislators submitted, our attendance and personally speaking out during City Council meetings and news conferences, the people’s will has been denied. This is unacceptable, and we will continue to stand firm that the battle remains the focus of the Alamo.

I want to thank the San Antonio Express-News for responding to my HB 1836 in an editorial printed on Monday. The Alamo bills that have been filed in the Texas Legislature are our opportunity, and the people’s chance, to right a serious wrong by the city of San Antonio and the General Land Office. We have listened to the people, and these bills honor their concerns and serve to protect and defend the Alamo and the Cenotaph.

What the Express-News failed to mention is that despite the public meetings regarding the Alamo and moving the Cenotaph, the city of San Antonio and the General Land Office ignored the fact that the vast majority of speakers in attendance opposed moving the Cenotaph and closing the plaza. They didn’t lose the argument, as the Express-News insinuated. Instead, they were ignored.

In addition, throughout the public meeting process, legislators were misled about the Alamo plan, such as a long-term lease guaranteeing the moving of the Cenotaph into the “free speech zone,” de-emphasizing the Battle of the Alamo by focusing on 10,000 years of history on the site — “the whole story,” which includes indigenous burial sites while defenders are moved off the battlefield, outside the walls, 500 feet away. How dare revisionist historians dilute this hallowed ground with political correctness.

All of this was done while the Texas Legislature was not in session. Many legislators wrote letters to the GLO and mayor of San Antonio voicing the concerns of their constituents, but to no avail. The more legislators and residents of Texas learn about this plan, the more upset and disappointed they are that it was pushed through by such a small group of people.

I encourage all Texans to appeal to the GLO, Culture, Recreation and Tourism Committee Chairman John Cyrier and Gov. Greg Abbott’s office to voice your support for these bills to save the Alamo and the Cenotaph. Let your voices be heard loud and clear that we will not sit idly by and let our rich Texas history be erased.

We will remember the Alamo. God bless Texas!

Kyle Biedermann, R-Fredericksburg, represents Texas House District 73.