As San Antonio gears up to celebrate its 300th birthday, every effort must be made to restore a sense of the sacred to that crown jewel of Texas liberty, the Alamo.

While it is indeed part of a chain of missions established by the Spanish Empire, the Alamo has become something more — an enduring shrine to man’s quest for freedom. Nearly 190 Texian defenders died there in 1836 during a pitched battle against overwhelming forces, but their sacrifice made independence possible for Texas.

Today, the arena where so many brave souls lost their lives is paved over, traveled by cars and buses and filled with the cries of vendors and protestors.

It’s no small wonder visitors and locals alike who walk across Alamo Plaza feel no sense of wonder or awe. Downtown buildings crowd the space, and there’s little indication to show it is actually a battlefield where those patriots made the ultimate sacrifice so long ago.

The time has come to promote an atmosphere of reverence for what is hallowed ground. State and local proponents have launched commendable actions to bring back some of the glory due this site, and they should be supported.

Plans call for ensuring the preservation of the remaining 1836 structures, showing the true size of the war zone and establishing a museum, which enshrines the history of the former mission.

If we’re going to remember the Alamo, as the saying goes, let’s do it right.

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