By Trey Rusk
Today is the anniversary of the Battle of Gonzales. It was the true beginning of the war of Texas independence from Mexico. It also coined the rallying cry for Texas still used today. "Come and Take It." The Come and Take It flag was made from a white wedding dress and the words and picture of a cannon were painted on the flag. The flag was raised over a cannon that the Mexican troops had come to retrieve.
You can't drive down a freeway in Texas without seeing a Come and Take It sticker adorning the rear window of a vehicle. My homestead is adorned with Republic and State of Texas memorabilia.
Placed on my living room mantle is a State of Texas flag that once flew over the state capital. It was presented to me by State Representative Leo Berman on my retirement from state service. It is one of my proudest possessions.
I have a grandson, Jackson Rusk who bears the same name as a defender who died at the Battle of the Alamo. History shows that Jackson Rusk from Ireland arrived in Nacogdoches and joined Jim Bowie to fight at the Alamo. Jackson Rusk never even signed his land grant before he left to fight.
Thomas J. Rusk was a General in the Texas Independence Army and fought at the Battle of San Jacinto beating the Mexican army and winning independence for Texas. He is a signer of the Texas Declaration of Independence.
Jackson Rusk has no known lineage before he arrived in Texas and Thomas J. Rusk was found to be a very distant family ancestor by Mormon researchers with no direct lineage to my family.
Texans are probably the most independent people in the world and will proclaim being a Texan at the drop of a hat. I recently visited Colorado and soon learned that some of those folks didn't like Texans. Jealousy, I guess. To those who voice their distain for Texas, I say, Go to Hell! Don't come to Texas, because it's Heaven!
I bear my surname proudly and have instilled a passion for Texas in my family. They give back to Texas as educators, military, health care professionals and law enforcement. Our family motto is "Semper Pro Texana"
I applaud new arrivals to Texas because most who stay soon succumb to displaying their Texas Pride. I recently saw a new arrival bearing California plates with a Come and Take It sticker on the rear window.
That's the way I see it.