A tribute to Big Sam

Published 8:02 am Saturday, July 15, 2017

Editorial by U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas

Texas, Margaret, Texas.

These were supposedly the last words Sam Houston spoke before he passed away in his Huntsville home on July 26, 1863.

Margaret was his wife of 23 years.  Texas, of course, was the Republic he led as President, and the State he represented in the United States Senate before serving as its Governor.

Texas was his home, and it still is.  He is buried at the Oakwood Cemetery in Huntsville, Texas, seventy miles north of the Bayou City named in his honor, Houston.

Engraved on his tombstone are the words “The World Will Take Care of Houston’s Fame,” and it’s clear the City of Huntsville has done its part.  In addition to his gravesite, those who make it to Huntsville can visit Sam Houston State University, the Sam Houston Memorial Museum, and Sam Houston’s “Steamboat” home.

But the biggest tribute to Texas’ first President is “Big Sam,” a 67-foot statue so grand you can see it from more than six miles away.  David Adickes, a Huntsville native famous for memorializing history’s giants in a size that reflects their continued influence, crafted the statue over two and a half years using 30 tons of concrete and steel.  “Big Sam” was dedicated in 1994 under the formal title “A Tribute to Courage,” and now boasts the very specific distinction of being the largest freestanding figure of an American hero.

As the United States Senator who currently holds the seat Sam Houston first occupied, I often reflect upon his career of public service.  He was a selfless and fearless leader, dedicated to the advancement of the Texas spirit and the preservation of our great nation.  And this month on the anniversary of his passing, I ask that you join me and the City of Huntsville in remembering his legacy that helped shape the great State of Texas.

Senator John Cornyn, a Republican from Texas, is a member of the Senate Finance, Intelligence, and Judiciary Committees.