Mar. 4—Monday's stormy weather cleared up to sunny skies at Huntsville's 123rd Texas Independence Day celebration that kicked off Tuesday morning.
Tuesday's celebration marked the 40th annual Texas Independence Day and General Sam Houston's birthday to be hosted by the Walker County Historical Commission, with a slightly more modest gathering than usual due to the pandemic. However, ceremony organizers were able to maintain all of the traditional celebrations that continuously draws proud Texans to home sweet Huntsville.
"It's a great day in Huntsville. History is important, what we do on days like today is so important, and I'm so thankful that we have a historical commission to make sure that we don't forget, and to make sure that we honor the rich history that Texas brings," Mayor Andy Brauninger said.
Members of the ROTC, students, staff and faculty of Sam Houston State University made their traditional march from the Old Main Pit to Oakwood Cemetery for the ceremony hosted at the gravesite of Sam Houston. Community leaders opened the event with words of praise for the general, followed by the Baptized a Texan ceremony, in which 13 born-out-of-state individuals participated.
With a day full of fun events, not losing sight of the past was a prominent recognition amongst speakers.
"As I look out at this crowd, I start to think about legacy. Sam Houston has left a tremendous legacy in our country, in our state and in our community," added Dr. Frank Parker, vice president of student services at Sam Houston State University.
Keynote speaker and seventh generation Texan Michael Wilson of the sons of the Republic of Texas, went on to speak to the importance of preserving Texas history and the honorable character of Houston.
The ceremony was wrapped with the laying of the wreaths by Houston's dependents and SHSU student government, followed by a 21 gun salute and song.