Commentary: Remember the veterans during Texas Independence week

Happy Texas Independence Day y’all!
Last Saturday, the state celebrated the 177th anniversary of the signing of the Texas Declaration of Independence on March 2, 1836. Wednesday, March 6 will mark the 177th anniversary of the final assault on the Alamo when the Mexican Army finally scaled the walls and killed the entire garrison of Texans and Tejanos.
These men who fought against insurmountable odds were the first Texans to answer the call to arms and fight for their army but they weren’t the last.
Everyone knows what happened. The Texans won and after 10 years of going it alone on the world stage, agreed to be annexed by the United States. It didn’t take long for Texans to give their services to the military. Ever since the first Texans fought alongside their fellow Americans in the Mexican War and in every war since, Texans have been ready, willing and able to take up arms for their country.
Speaking of arms, this weekend State Rep. Jeff Leach, R-Plano filed a bill entitled the “Texas Gun Ownership Reinforcement Act.” This bill would create a new tax-free holiday where consumers won’t be charged taxes on guns, ammunition or hunting supplies on March 2, Texas Independence Day.
This could be a good idea for the state economically but is it really what we want our day of Independence to be remembered for? Our image nationally is already having a tough time and this bill, coming at a time when gun control is the topic of discussion nationwide, does not help that image. Or do we want to use Independence Day as a time to honor the service and sacrifice of Texans to their nation since 1836?
The week of Texas Independence is not just a celebration of the men of 1835-36 who took up arms but also of the ones who have come since and served their country so that its people would remain free to have things like a possible tax-free day on guns and ammo.
We are a great state with a grand tradition, and each year the first week of March becomes first a celebration of that heritage and then a remembrance of the price of it. We roll Memorial Day, Independence Day and Veterans Day into one week like a bar-b-que plate with brisket, sausage and turkey.
As another year of independence comes and goes, it is important to continue to remember the contributions our state has made to the country.
It may not seem like it sometimes, but we still live in the best country in the world. I am a little biased but we also live in the best state in that country. We must be thankful that there are people willing to defend the freedoms we enjoy. As we remember the Texans of 1836, we should also remember all the Texans who have come since and served their country, some falling in that service.
They are just as much heroes as the soldiers who fought at Gonzales, San Antonio, The Alamo, Goliad and San Jacinto. Let us remember all veterans as we celebrate another year of independence in the Lone Star State.
It would be a better way to commemorate their sacrifice than by making it a day to buy guns without taxes.

Stephen Whitaker
Managing Editor