LA PORTE, Texas (KTRK) -- Thursday marked the 186th anniversary of the Battle of San Jacinto.
It was April 21, 1836, during the Texas Revolution, when Gen. Sam Houston and his army defeated Gen. Santa Anna's Mexican Army.
Texas won its independence from Mexico in a battle that lasted only 18 minutes.
On Thursday, hundreds of people gathered at the San Jacinto Monument to remember the brave Texas soldiers who fought and died that day.
Nancy Burch is the great, great-granddaughter of Gen. Sam Houston who led the charge to secure Texas' Independence.
Burch said she has been a part of this annual ceremony since she was a child. " I think I lead the Pledge of Allegiance when I was 10 year old," said Burch.
She said many years ago San Jacinto Day was a state holiday and is disappointed it's not that way anymore.
"History is not particularly well taught and this is specially part to our area so it's quite important. If this battle had not proved successful Texas very well might still be part of Mexico," Burch continued.
For people like Luann Zacek, who is the descendent of Aaron Burleson involved in the fcaputre of Santa Anna, has brought her grandsons to the annual ceremony for the last three years.
"For my grandkids and for me to be here and to honor our ancestors who died and those who fought in the battle, it was the most decisive battle in the Northern Hemisphere," said Zacek.
This year, 10-year-old A.J Pesek and his 9-year-old brother, Henry, took part in the ceremony and recited the Pledge of Allegiance.
"My favorite part about (Thursday) was leading the people in the pledge of allegiance and the firing of the cannons," said Henry Pesek. "I got lots of pictures so I won't forget this fun and enjoyable day."."
The anniversary also includes a re-enactment ceremony which will happen Sunday.
Carl Hill is portraying Capt. Mosely Baker, who famously coined the phrase "Remember the Alamo. Remember Goliad."
Hill says being part of the event for the last 25 years is his greatest honor.
"I had a relative that fought in the Texas Revolution. He died at Goliad. His family came to Texas when it was a republic so I have a great affinity for our state and proud to represent," Hill said.
The anniversary celebration will continue this weekend with a re-enactment of the Battle of San Jacinto. It will take place at the San Jacinto Monument in LaPorte this Saturday at 10 a.m.
Texans celebrate the 186th anniversary of the Battle of San Jacinto
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