Earlier this month, 40 proud Texans of Midland gathered at the Haley Memorial Library to remember and celebrate Texas Independence Day.
The ceremony consisted of reading the proclamation of Texas independence followed by the pledge of allegiance to the United States and Texas flags. The ceremony was concluded with a three-musket salute and cannon volley, followed by three cheers for Texas.
Sheri Merket, an eighth-generation Texan, has attended the ceremony for many years. She said events like this are an excellent way to commemorate Texas history, and that it is critical that Texas history is continued to be taught in schools.
Ralph White was one of the re-enactors who participated in the musket salute. White was dressed as an Alabama Red Rover, who volunteered to help fight for Texas independence.
“We are here to celebrate our Texas history,” White said.
Prior to 1836 Texas was part of the Republic of Mexico, after Mexico gained its independence from Spain in 1821. Already under Spanish rule, the Spaniards planned to encourage colonization of Texas by allowing Americans to settle in Texas.
During the 1820s, the Mexican government instituted programs to allow American settlers to immigrate to Texas. The immigrants would provide a buffer zone between Mexico and the Indians living in Texas who would raid settlements in Mexico.
As more and more Americans immigrated into Texas, the Mexican government officials feared that they would lose control of the population.
The government tried to limit the immigration by putting heavier restrictions on immigration and on imported goods.
This polarized the Texans who eventually pushed them to the point of revolution.
On March 2, 1836, the 58-member body that met to discuss the option of independence.
They signed Texas’s declaration of independence, which formally broke Texas’s ties with Mexico and established the Republic of Texas.