Texas Heritage, Volume 18, Number 3, Summer 2000 Page: 4
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THE PRESIDENT'S MESSAGE
BY MARSHALL J. DOKE JR.
The major problem in Texas historic
preservation today does not involve
buildings, artifacts, books, or documents
(although all of these are important). The
greatest challenge we face is to ensure that
our children and grandchildren inherit,
cherish, and nurture the spirit of Texas.
Texas has no greater historical resource
than our pride in and love of our State. Texans
do not apologize for the word that has
described this resource throughout modem
history -- patriotism.
"Breathes there a Texan with soul so dead
who never to himself hath said,
This is my own, my native land."
What does it mean to be a Texan
(whether you are a native or just got here
as soon as you could)? Some say that, if you
are not a Texan, you cannot understand
what it means, and if you are a Texan, you
cannot explain the meaning.
Pride is one aspect of being a Texan. Part of this pride relates
to our heroic traditions, including the bravery at the Alamo, the
victory at San Jacinto, and in our unequaled Texas Rangers. Indeed,
the price of Texas liberty was dearly paid in the blood of
Texians generations past.
Texas began its existence with no extrinsic advantages to provide
aid or comfort. She moved forward with a sparse population
exhausted by war but with an energy that defied all misfortune.
This history and tradition also contributed to the pride by which
Texans always have been known.
The foremost symbol of our pride -- our Lone Star Flag -- is
recognized the world over. It is regularly flown with (and sometimes
in lieu of) the Stars and Stripes. This is just one of the unique
aspects of our State. Many people from other states do not even
recognize, much less fly, their state flag.
The Texas spirit evolved from our diversity in geography
and people. It flows in the blood of people with many ethnic
origins and religions. It is a spirit that bonds this land and its
One of our great Texas writers, J. Frank
Dobie, once wrote that the early Texians
were the rock of our State, that later Texans
were out of the rock, and the people
who live here now are wearing the rock
away. In these terms, our most important
problem today is rock erosion.
If you doubt that we have a serious problem,
ask your friends and fellow workers to
tell you the date of Texas Independence Day
(March 2) or San Jacinto Day (April 21). If
you get ten percent correct answers, you are
When was the last time you read about a
Texas celebration on one of these historic
Texas days? The media regularly covers celebrations
of Cinco de Mayo, St. Patrick's Day,
and Martin Luther King's birthday, but when
do we see media coverage celebrating our
Whose responsibility is it to see that our Texas spirit thrives in
the hearts of future generations? Our schools? State or local governments?
Elected officials? Our businesses and private institutions?
The media? Parents? The answer is, all of these and more.
Each of us is accountable for the privilege we have to be the stewards
of the Texas spirit during our lives. The Texas Historical
Foundation's mission includes preserving our Texas heritage and
culture. We need you to join our efforts. Help us meet this challenge
with your prayers and support.
MARSHALL J. DOKE JR. of Dallas became the president of
the Texas Historical Foundation Board of Directors on July 1, 2000,
succeeding Lewis A. Jones of Austin, who is now the chairman of
Doke is an attorney with Gardere & Wynne, L.L.P. He has
been a THF director since 1994, served as the organization's vice
president in 1996, and last year, was chairman of the Publications
HERITAGE * 4 * SUMMER 2000
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Texas Historical Foundation. Texas Heritage, Volume 18, Number 3, Summer 2000, periodical, Summer 2000; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth45389/m1/4/: accessed February 21, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas Historical Foundation.