State Rep. Kyle Biedermann (R–Fredericksburg) has filed legislation to protect the Alamo Cenotaph. The bill, House Bill 2866, would prohibit any attempts to change, destroy, or relocate the Cenotaph from the Alamo battlefield site. This would be done by claiming the land under and around the Cenotaph for the State of Texas, under eminent domain.
Biedermann says this necessary due to mismanagement of the monument by San Antonio officials, stating, “If the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier or the U.S.S. Arizona was left in a state of disrepair, would we continue to allow those caretakers to maintain control? In 1937, the State of Texas entrusted this sacred site to the City of San Antonio to preserve the Cenotaph and honor the memory of the Alamo Defenders. It is now time that Texas reassume authority over the Cenotaph and ensure that it remains for generations to come.”
While the Alamo site holds great importance in Texan history, the Cenotaph has its own significance, serving as the resting place for the defenders, whose bodies Santa Anna denied a proper burial and burned on a pyre.
As a result, recent proposals to relocate the Cenotaph in Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush’s “reimagine the Alamo” project have been controversial.
These disputes have attracted attention throughout the Republican Party, with 97.3 percent of Republican voters supporting increased monument protection and preservation, especially for the Alamo Cenotaph. Many have fought against attempts to move it, including Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who has sparred repeatedly with Bush over the monument’s proposed relocation.
Last year, the Texas Historical Commission voted 12-2 against moving the Cenotaph, a major victory for Texans who have stood against the relocation effort.
Legislation filed by Biedermann in the last session to protect the Alamo Cenotaph was never brought to the House floor for a vote.