Senator Barrientos' Remarks
at the State Capitol - March 2, 2004
State Senator Gonzalo Barrientos has been a long time supporter of
celebrating this State's history and culture. He has been a member of
the Board of Directors of Celebrate Texas, Inc. since its inception and
for many, many years sponsored the annual celebration of Texas
Independence Day at the State Capitol. It is a distinct pleasure and
honor to be associated with such a staunch and unabashed believer in
the promotion of the unique history of our land. On March 2, 2004,
Senator Barrientos gave the following speech in the rotunda of our
State Capitol. We appreciate his thoughts and his willingness to let us
share them with you.
Texas Senator Gonzalo Barrientos'
Texas Independence Day, March 2, 2004
Happy Birthday, Texas -- Feliz Cumplianos, Tejas -- today our great
State is 168 years old.
Let me welcome you to our State Capitol for our sixth annual Texas
Independence Day celebration.
I am glad that through legislation that I and others sponsored during
the last session of the legislature, March is now ''Texas History
Month" in our State. It is our hope that schools and communities
across Texas will now schedule more events such as these to remember
and honor our State's history. It is important for Texas school
children to have a sense of the rich and unique history of our State.
And there can be no argument that our great expansive State has a rich
and unique history. Those brave Texans who 168 years ago
sought to bring sovereignty to Texas were motivated not just by the
desire to live free -- they also wanted to pass on to future
generations the spirit that had been forged by their shared struggles
to liberate Texas.
We remember the Alamo and we remember Goliad . . . But it is the spirit
that Sam Houston, William Travis, Jose Antonio Navarro, Llorenzo de
Zavala, Davy Crockett, and the many others who gained
independence for Texas that has sustained Texans throughout our
history. And it is that spirit which still distinguishes us, and
why so many folks unlucky enough not to be born in Texas try to "get
here as fast as they can."
As a native Texan, I marvel at the majesty of our great State.
From the piney woods and rich farmland of east Texas to the sagebrush
and mountains of west Texas… from the citrus groves and sandy beaches
of south Texas to the Palo Duro canyons of the panhandle -- ours is a
state as diverse in nature as the people who came to inhabit our land
almost two centuries ago.
And in all the years since gaining our independence in 1836, our State
has grown even more diverse. The colors and fabrics of our people
have only multiplied and added strength to our Texas spirit.
As a Texan of Mexican descent, I am especially proud of the ''Tejanos''
who contributed as much to the cause for Texas independence as Houston,
Travis, Crockett and others. And I am proud of the fact that
Texas has become a more diverse State.
Since gaining independence, the Republic and State of Texas has
welcomed many more people and cultures to its land. Today, we can
traverse the state and come upon Mexican, German, Czech, Polish, Irish,
Hungarian and many other thriving communities that were settled by
families drawn here by our Texas spirit, and the opportunity afforded
those willing to work hard. More recently, Texas has been blessed
by the infusion of many Asian cultures, among others, further enriching
Those gallant and heroic men who signed our Texas Declaration of
Independence 168 years ago together were Texas. They stood tall
and laid the foundation from which we could build the Texas of
today. That is their legacy and their sacrifice, and we proudly
honor both today.
All is not done for Texas. We are good, but not perfect -- so we
have much yet to do. It is our duty to maintain what is most
precious to any Texan -- our spirit. That is what makes us unique
in the eyes of the world. So happy birthday, Texas!!
To celebrate Texas Independence Day, we have groups to entertain us
that are truly reflective of our slogan
''Together, We're Texas.''
Copyright © 2004 Gonzalo Barrientos
TLA Homepage TLA Membership General
Rules and Regs