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GOD & TEXAS: Generation Z at the Alamo

Would members of Generation Z fight in the Battle of the Alamo if it happened today? Historical records indicate that one-half of the defenders on March 6, 1836, were under the age of 30. Fourteen were teenagers, with two of the slain being sixteen-year-olds.

According to Beresford Research (2023), anyone between the ages 11 and 26, are considered Generation Z. So, had those same defenders been living today, they would be considered Generation Z. Are there any similarities between the fighters in the Alamo and the current Generation Z?

Stanford University researcher Roberta Katz states that the typical Generation Z’er is a self-driver who deeply cares about others, strives for a diverse community, and values flexibility. They also tend to be highly social and esteem authenticity.

These values and more seem to define those young men who forfeited their future to defend the Alamo. Indeed, their Commander William B. Travis was only 26 years old. Facing imminent death, Travis made the decision to stay and fight to the end.

William Phillip King was only 15 years old when he convinced his father, John, to let him take his father's place in battle. It is surmised that William manned a cannon and was the youngest Alamo defender to be killed. King County is named after this adolescent hero.

Other teens who died in the Alamo siege include Richardson Perry, William T. Malone, Albert Calvin Grimes, Galba Fuqua, and Carlos Espalier. Seventeen-year-old John E. Gaston was a private in the Gonzales Rangers when they crossed enemy lines to enter the Alamo on March 1. He died with these valiant warriors who are now known as the “Immortal 32.”

Private William Garnett was born in Virginia in 1812 and felt called by God at a young age to become a Baptist preacher. He immigrated to Texas and settled at Fall-on-the Brazos, in the Robertson colony, near present-day Marlin.

Garnett started preaching the Gospel and became close friends of Travis. Some research suggests that Garnett and Travis may have been shirt-tail relatives. Garnett greatly admired Travis and in February 1836, William readily accompanied him to the Alamo.

At the age of 24, Garrett unselfishly committed his life to things greater than himself. Not only was he devoted to the Cause of Christ, William obligated himself to freedom for all Texans. Before the Battle, William met with General Land Office agent Massillon Farley to prepare his will and personal papers.

After the historic Battle, Farley described Garnett as a man who “stood high in the community and was a man of steady habits and unblemished reputation.” What an awesome testimony regarding this dedicated man of God.

Garnett rejected the lifestyle of me, myself, and I. Instead, he pursued Philippians 3:3-4 NIV, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” May the young warriors of the Alamo challenge us today!

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