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The Alamo, One of the "U.S.'s Most Over-Rated Tourist Attractions"

Aug 15, 2009 -- Andrew Harper (Travel Advice) published on Yahoo


When I was a young boy and later a young man, I remember walking the grounds of The Alamo and slowly moving through the chapel in reverent silence along with the other visitors.  I visited the Alamo with my newlywed wife in 1980, as my father and mother had done on their honeymoon.  In July of 2005 we paid another visit.  Only months before our son Carl had visited The Alamo while stationed at Fort Sam Houston for his Army Combat Medic training.  While resting in the shade we received a phone call from Carl who was then stationed at a base in Iraq’s Triangle of Death.   None of us missed the significance of where we were and where he was.  Later, I again stood with my wife Kay at my side and read aloud the inscription on the monument that stands on the site. "They chose never to surrender nor retreat, these brave hearts with flag still proudly waving perished in the flames of immortality that their high sacrifice might lead to the founding on this Texas."   My voice cracked as I read, and Kay held my hand a little tighter.   Just a few weeks later the phone rang again.  This time it was a well disciplined Army Sergeant calling to inform us that our son had been critically wounded by an IED.  Gratefully, Carl survived and I stayed with him as he recovered at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC.  There I saw firsthand the sacrifice of flesh and bone that our brave soldiers were making for us.  Weeks later Carl and I visited the National Mall and I stood beside him and fought back tears as he read the inscription “Freedom Is Not Free.”   

Dear Andrew Harper:  Today, as you list The Alamo as an “Over-Rated Tourist Attraction”, Carl and thousands more of these brave hearts are standing for our Freedom in Afghanistan.  The Alamo is only a tourist attraction for shallow people who will never comprehend that sacrifice.  For the rest of us, the The Alamo is the Shrine of Texas Liberty and one of the U.S.'s greatest monuments.

Doug Jackson, Tulsa, Ok.

From: Harper <>
Sent: Tuesday, August 18, 2009 11:44:41 AM
Subject: A Letter of Apology from Andrew Harper

Dear Mr. Jackson,

I am writing to apologize. I sincerely regret any offense my recent Yahoo article may have caused. As a lover of history myself I completely understand the devoted attachment so many of us have to sites such as The Alamo.

For the record, please know that this lapse of mine was exacerbated by the editors of Yahoo, who added the phrase “Forget the Alamo” without my consent. This needlessly provocative title was obviously intended to generate controversy and traffic.

I deeply appreciate your son’s service to our country. Please know that your words have been taken to heart.

With apologies,

Andrew Harper