Touchstone Moments in American and Texas History: The Alamo and the Twin Towers on 9/11
Session Sponsored by the Institute of Texan Cultures
The Twin Towers of the World Trade Center were two of the most important buildings, and symbols of American prosperity, in one of the world’s largest cities, New York City. On September 11, 2001, they were forever transformed by an act of terror that was felt throughout the United States and the world. The site, which became known as “Ground Zero,” became a focal point of a changed nation.
The Alamo was founded at a Native American crossroads. It was a mission and a military garrison before the siege of 1836. The site was forever transformed into a symbol of freedom and sacrifice throughout the world, and it became an integral part of the creation of Texas.
These two seminal American events, 165 years apart and geographically far removed from each other, are similar in that they are touchstones that have shaped our culture and our history. Rebuilding the World Trade Center championed the call to “Never Forget.” All Texans still “Remember the Alamo” 180 years later.
The process by which the 9/11 Memorial and Museum was created involved a collaborative effort across government, business, cultural, and communal entities. Similarly, the Alamo is embarking on the same type of journey towards reimagining a hallowed ground.
About Ian Oldaker
Ian Oldaker has served as the Chief Operations Officer for Alamo Complex Management since June 1, 2016. In his role, he oversees the daily visitor experience and staff operations at the Alamo Complex. Prior to his arrival in San Antonio, Ian worked in New York City as Vice President of Operations and Planning for the National September 11 Memorial and Museum. In his 10 years with the organization, Ian played an integral role in the opening of both the 9/11 Memorial in 2011 and the 9/11 Memorial Museum in 2014. Ian helped design and build the multi-divisional Operations Department, and personally ran the Visitor Services Division. Ian received his B.A. in History and Political Science from Loyola University in Maryland, his Master of Science in Global Affairs from New York University and his Master of Fine Arts from Brooklyn College — CUNY.
Thanks to our generous sponsors:
Diamond Level Sponsors
Gold Level Sponsors
Silver Level Sponsors
Center for the Study of the Southwest, Texas State University
Clayton Library Friends
David. Furlow, P.C.
Dolph Briscoe Center for American History at the University of Texas-Austin
Frank & Carol Holcomb
Lyn & Tom Phillips
San Angelo Genealogical and Historical Society
Texas Society of Professional Surveyors
The San Antonio Conservation Society
University of Texas Press