One day into the siege of the Alamo, the 26-year-old lieutenant colonel in command knew the situation was desperate. He would not surrender the fort, he would not retreat. What would we do?

On February 24, 1836, William Barret Travis wrote a letter seeking aid from his fellow Texians and anyone else who held dear the values of America. Rather than offer an easy and dishonorable surrender to the far superior forces surrounding them, Travis and his men were determined to use their last breath in the fight for liberty.

Aid was not forthcoming. Travis and his men were butchered. Their death, though, inspired their countrymen to declare and achieve independence from Mexico.

Even now, nearly two centuries later, Lt. Col. Travis’ simple words inspire patriots to ask what we are willing to do for the idea that is Texas. When liberty is threatened, do we embrace our creature comforts, or do we run to the action?

Think of William Travis, writing to you from the Alamo…

To the People of Texas & All Americans in the World:

Fellow citizens & compatriots—I am besieged, by a thousand or more of the Mexicans under Santa Anna—I have sustained a continual Bombardment & cannonade for 24 hours & have not lost a man.

The enemy has demanded a surrender at discretion, otherwise, the garrison are to be put to the sword, if the fort is taken—I have answered the demand with a cannon shot, & our flag still waves proudly from the walls.

I shall never surrender or retreat.

Then, I call on you in the name of Liberty, of patriotism & everything dear to the American character, to come to our aid, with all dispatch—The enemy is receiving reinforcements daily & will no doubt increase to three or four thousand in four or five days.

If this call is neglected, I am determined to sustain myself as long as possible & die like a soldier who never forgets what is due to his own honor & that of his country—Victory or Death.

William Barret Travis

Liberty is besieged by the forces of tyranny. Will we stand back, or join the fight?

In the name of liberty… patriotism.. the American character… What will you and I do today to earn the sacrifice Travis and his men made at the Alamo?

Michael Quinn Sullivan

Michael Quinn Sullivan is the publisher of Texas Scorecard. He is a native Texan, a graduate of Texas A&M, and an Eagle Scout. Previously, he has worked as a newspaper reporter, magazine contributor, Capitol Hill staffer, and think tank vice president. Michael and his wife have three adult children, a son-in-law, and a dog. Michael is the author of three books, including "Reflections on Life and Liberty."