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Tijerina: Inauguration of the Tejano Monument By Staff AUSTIN, April 4 - Dr.

Andrs Tijerina, a history professor at Austin Community College, gave the keynote speech at the unveiling on the Tejano Monument at the state Capitol on March 29. He also wrote the script for the bronze plaques that form part of the Tejano Monument. Here is Tijerina's keynote speech: We were taught in our American history books that the English colonists landed on the Atlantic coast in 1607. As they conquered the frontier, they developed their Dr. Andrs Tijerina. (Photo: RGG/Steve democratic spirit and in 1776 declared their independence from England. The American frontier Taylor) drove westward from the Atlantic toward the Pacific, from sea to shining sea. And it was their grandchildren who arrived here in Texas with Stephen F. Austin in 1821 to settle new empresario land grants from the Republic Mexico. Fighting at the Alamo and at San Jacinto, the Texans also developed a fierce individualism. We stand on the shoulders of those great men today. And today we pause to remember that those Texans also stood shoulder to shoulder with their Tejano patriots. That when Stephen F. Austin got his land grant, it was a Tejano who gave it to him. Texas Governor Antonio Martinez and later Governor Agustn Viesca welcomed Anglo-American settlers to come and partake of the beauty of Texas lands. Viesca dedicated his whole political career at great sacrifice to sponsor American capitalism and American technology into Texas. His legacy stands today as part of the greatness of modern Texas, just as his direct descendants stand alongside the other proud modern Texans in this very crowd. When it came time to fight for freedom from an oppressive dictatorial regime, it was Gov. Agustin Viesca who issued the clarion call to all Tejanos. Arise in arms, he proclaimed. And when Texans made their decision to fight to the death in the Alamo, again they stood shoulder to shoulder facing sure death.

They had the choice to retreat, but they chose to fight. Tejanos like Gregorio Esparza from San Antonio de Bxar chose instead to leave a legacy of courage for his family, for his children, and for his descendants. It was a good choice, because his descendants are still here in this very crowd today, carrying on the proud Esparza legacy of freedom. Fighting alongside with Esparza was the cavalry commander of the Tejano company at the Alamo and at the Battle of San Jacinto, Col. Juan Seguin, whose descendants have erected a statue to his honor just down the road. And when Texas took the independent status of the Republic of Texas, Tejanos like Jos Antonio Navarro not only signed the Declaration of Independence, but served as a congressman in the fledgling republic. The Navarro were one of the first families in the founding of Texas, but they are still here with us carrying pride of their great state of Texas. Read full article click on link below. http://riograndeguardian.com/columns_story.asp?story_no=20

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