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Remember the Alamo

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"Every society needs a cry like that, but only in a very few do they come out with the complete, unvarnished version, which is 'Remember-The-Atrocity-Committed-Against-Us-Last-Time-That-Will-Excuse-The-Atrocity-That-We're-About-To-Commit-Today! And So On! Hurrah!'"

A Long Time Ago, in a Galaxy Far, Far Away... (well... actually, Texas in 1836) roughly two hundred colonists stood their ground against an entire army (the Mexican one, that is) and did so for almost two straight weeks, until every defender was killed. William Travis, James Bowie, and Davy Crockett were the three men who orchestrated their defense against the ensuing onslaught of Santa Anna and his men, and since then The Alamo note  has been a nationally revered moment of American bravery for the entire country, but especially the people of Texas, who tend to exaggerate the scale of the conflict. (What's not brought up as often is that they were also doing it so independent Texas could own slaves.note )

Trope-wise, "Remember the Alamo" is a Battle Cry that memorializes an enemy atrocity and is invoked to galvanize the civilian population into supporting the war effort. Historically, an alternate title might well be Remember the Maine!

Subtrope of Shocking Defeat Legacy.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • ZAFT soldiers in Mobile Suit Gundam SEED and Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny often reference the Junius Seven tragedy in their war cries.
  • Full Metal Panic! uses "Remember Pearl Harbor"- said by the captain of the USS Pasadena. It results in his Japanese-American XO facepalming in despair.
  • In Dallos, the colonialist freedom fighters reference the Bartholomew Station bombing (orchestrated by the local government) by chanting "Remember Bartholomew!" in the first episode.

    Fan Fic 
  • In the Mass Effect fanfic And the Meek Shall Inherit the Galaxy, the cry of "Remember the Belari!" Is taken up by the combined human-quarian faction in remembrance of the ship that sacrificed itself to save both species' leaders and diplomats from a surprise turian attack.
  • In A Thin Veneer, the Odd Name Out among the Gorn ships is the GCF Fires of Regulus, named after the incident that brought the Federation, Klingons and Gorn into the Earth-Minbari War. A group of Minbari destroyed the Federation's colony of Regulus, killing over twenty-five million sentients, including one of the leaders of the Gorn.
  • The Littlehorn Massacre served as a major contribution to the war between Zebras and Equestria in Fallout: Equestria. Littlehorn Valley was a plain located along the Zebra boarder to Equestria that Celestia wanted to build a School meant for her sister Princess Lunas' students to learn Magic at. The Massacre happened when a Zebra Refugee Convoy passed close to the newly-built school grounds and due to the rising tensions between the two nations at the time, the Equestrian faculty accidentally mistook the Refugees as insurgents and opened fire on them, in-retaliation a Zebra Commando that was accompanying the Refugee Convoy snuck into the schoolgrounds and unleashed a chemical weapon that killed the faculty and student body. Both sides saw this as Pretext for War, and made all the more worse when Celestia having felt guilt for building Luna's School at Littlehorn Valleynote  stepped down from power and gave Luna control over Equestria instead. Safe to say that by the time of Littlepips' Story, things only just got worse from there...
  • Kimi No Na Iowa:
    • In Chapter 19, General Shi tells the Task Force VALKYRIE attacking abyssal bases in the Philippines to remember Kokura, Los Angeles and Tianjin.
    • In Chapter 31, the abyssal supreme commander urges on her cadre in their genocidal plans by reminding them of Japanese war crimes and the victims thereof.

  • The Trope Namer naturally appears in The Alamo (2004) as part of Gen. Sam Houston's Rousing Speech before the final battle against the Mexicans.
  • Dog Day Afternoon: "Attica!"
  • From Dune (1984): Taqwa!
  • An American Werewolf in London has this as the punchline of the joke told by Brian Glover in the Slaughtered Lamb.
  • Transformers: Age of Extinction features a billboard saying "Remember Chicago!"
  • Parodied in Pee-wee's Big Adventure: As Pee-wee Herman searches for his missing bike, he is told that the bike can be found in the Alamo's basement, but he is told there is no basement in the Alamo. Later, he tries to hide from a bully by disguising himself as a cowboy — and is promptly put in a rodeo, with the bull he is riding violently knocking him off so hard that he is knocked out. He is revived, but he has trouble remembering who he is or where he came from. Asked if he can remember anything at all, he says, "I remember... the Alamo." Everyone tending to him cheers.
  • While not directly stated: most of the Galaxy in Star Wars hasn't forgotten the atrocities committed by the Galactic Empire when the Death Star blew up Alderaan. According to the Expanded Universe: most of the galaxy that would side with the Alliance to Restore The Republic following the Battle of Yavin at the end of the first film would cite Remember Alderaan! as a rallying cry.
    • Before Alderaan, in Rogue One: one of the Rebel Alliance Soldiers during the Battle of Scarif at the end of the film used "FOR JEDHA!" as a war-cry. note 
  • Played for Laughs in Tremors 4: The Legend Begins when the remaining townsfolk decide to take a stand against the monsters and Hiram thinks Juan doesn't know what happened at the Alamo. Juan knows exactly what happened at the Alamo — his people were just on the other side of that one.
    Hiram: We will make Rejection our last bastion, our last line of defense.
    Juan: Our Alamo.
    Hiram: Juan, we were the losers at the Alamo.
    Juan: Speak for yourself, Gringo.

  • In James Blish's sci-fi Cities in Flight stories, it's "Remember Thor V!"
    • V is the Roman numeral 5. Thor V is thus the fifth planet of the Thor system. The organization known as Interstellar Master Traders committed unspecified atrocities there.
    • The rallying cry lasted for many decades, if not centuries, due to anti-agathic (anti-aging) drugs.
    • Mayor Amalfi of New York City met up with IMT in another galaxy, whence they fled. He shouted this to panic their leaders into an ill-considered act. He's surprised when not only the leader of IMT blanches, but many of his guards as well.
  • David Drake and Eric Flint's Belisarius Series.
    • Ethiopian warriors shout "Ta'akha Maryam!" when attacking the Malwa forces. The Malwa assassinated the Ethiopian king at Ta'akha Maryam, before war was even declared.
    • Persian forces use "Charax!" as a battle-cry, after the Malwa massacred the civilian population of the Persian city of Charax. And even more so, after Belisarius's troops take the city back and it's discovered that the civilians that were slaughtered were the lucky ones.
  • Discworld - Terry Pratchett translated it as "Remember the atrocities the enemy has done to us, for they will justify the atrocities we are about to commit today" In Discworld, it was usually "Remember Koom Valley!", in memory of a notorious ambush — the only battle in history where both sides ambushed each other. And it turns out even Koom Valley wasn't an example- it was originally a peace conference, but the fog caused both sides to declare someone was attacking them until the ground collapsed under them, trapping them underground.
  • In the Codex Alera series, when the Alerans and their allies are entering a huge fight against the Vord, the rallying cry is simply "Alera!"
  • The Fremen saying in the Dune series: never forgive, never forget.
  • In The Wheel of Time, many of the main characters are from a town that stands over where the ancient city Manetheren once stood. The city was completely and utterly annihilated and that battle is often recalled to inspire them to continue fighting the enemy Trollocs.
  • In Echoes of Honor: the Grayson commander uses "Lady Harrington, and no mercy!"note 
  • Also from David Weber is A Mighty Fortress, the fourth book of the Safehold series, in which a fleet buying time for what ships can get away uses "Remember King Haarahld" as its battle cry, in memorial of their late king's Heroic Sacrifice.
    • The Republic of Siddarmark has "The Pikes of Kolstyr". A piece of music written in memory of an incident where the Desnarian army massacred 90% of a unit of surrendered soldiers (and crippled the remaining 10%), when the Siddarmark army plays it during battle it's a signal that they do not intend to take prisoners.
  • In The Dresden Files book Changes, when reinforcements show up at the climax to help out Harry, their leader calls for his men to "Remember Archangel!". It's Ebenezar, leading members of the Grey Council against the Red Court. Archangel is the name of the place where a particularly vicious battle between the White Council and the Red Court took place, resulting in devastating losses for the wizards, including one of the strongest wizards on the Council, member of the Senior Council, and expert on all things vampire all in the same man.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In The Expanse, the destruction of the Canterbury, apparently by Mars, spurs "Remember the Cant" a rallying cry that unifies the Outer Rim colonies against the Martian Congressional Republic. The destruction of the Canterbury was actually a False Flag Operation by the Protogen corporation to distract the Earth and Mars from their other illicit activities.
  • In an episode of Timeless, Flynn travels to 1836 to try to prevent the Trope Namer from being created by ensuring that the fight is a Curb-Stomp Battle of the Texans. He gets an audience with General Santa Anna and claims to have been sent by Queen Isabella II of Spain. He gives Santa Anna gold to fund his war effort, only asking that Santa Anna accelerate his timetable for the Alamo. Flynn wants the Mexican Army to storm the fort right away instead of besieging it for 13 days first and allowing the famous letter to be written and sent out. Flynn also sneaks into the fort and kills William Travis before he can pen the letter. Without the nearly two weeks of defiance (and additional defenders, who arrive later) and the letter, the Alamo would only be a footnote in history instead of a symbol of American defiance. Unfortunately, Santa Anna has his own ideas and orders that no quarter is to be given to anyone in the fort, including women and children. Flynn is vehemently against that, both because he lost his own wife and daughter and because such a slaughter would definitely make its way into the history books. Luckily, thanks to the protagonists, the women and children end up being saved, while Lucy is able to write a different letter that ends up having the same rousing effect. The Alamo still falls quickly, but the fight is remembered, and Santa Anna ends up being defeated in a matter of weeks by the US Army.
  • In the Stargate Atlantis episode "The Gift", McKay grouses about the likelihood that they will survive The Siege by saying, "What was that we were supposed to all remember? Something important. Oh, yes, that's right — the Alamo!" The trope is being played with here, since McKay is reappropriating the original battle cry as a cautionary warning about the implausibility of surviving an overwhelming siege.

  • The cover of an issue of The National Lampoon from the early 1980s featured a picture of the battle captioned, "Remember the Alamo?"

    Newspaper Comics 
  • Parodied in The Far Side: A soldier cries out: "Remember... uh, remember that place in Texas!"
  • Also parodied in, of all strips, Steve Canyon: Steve was having a dream, chock-full of anachronisms, about being part of Perry's 1850s expedition to open up Japan. When a quarrel with the local authorities began, he suggested the ambassador say "Remember Pearl Harbor!" as a "So there!" The ambassador used it and then asked Steve, "Where the heck is Pearl Harbor?"

    Tabletop Games 
  • During the First Succession War of BattleTech's Back Story; the Draconis Combine had the Federated Suns on the brink of defeat. However when their ruler was assassinated by a Sun's sniper on the planet of Kentares IV (as a legitimate military target) his son and successor had 90% of the planet's population, roughly fifty two million people, executed in cold blood. The atrocity rallied the Federated Suns, who used "Remember Kentares!" as a Battle Cry, and cost the Combine its previous gains.
    • When the Clans came calling, Clan Smoke Jaguar shocked everyone by dealing with the expected insurgency issues on one of their conquered planets by firing on the city with capital-grade spaceship weapons until it was nothing but a scorched crater, killing over a million civilians. This act prompted the rallying cries of "Remember Edo" and "Remember Turtle Bay" and eventually led to the Inner Sphere rallying together to crush Clan Smoke Jaguar for their barbarity.
    • The punishing losses inflicted on the Clans (and suffered by Comstar) at the Battle of Tukayyid, and the 15 years' grace it bought the Inner Sphere, is why the call to "Remember Tukayyid" remains a thing.

    Video Games 
  • In System Shock 2 "Remember Citadel", the setting of the first game, is daubed on the walls with blood.
    • It's somewhat less of a battle cry and more of a warning that you can't trust Xerxes, the AI that controls the ship. Also an early indicator that SHODAN is the one really pulling the strings.
  • The Trope Namer is said by Colonel Volgin in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater right before he uses a Davey Crockett nuclear launcher to destroy the Sokolov Design Bureau.
  • Parodied in Ty the Tasmanian Tiger with Boss Cass who tries to steal the MacGuffins with a cry of "Remember the Comet!" (referring to the comet that wiped out the dinosaurs).
  • In Halo:
    • "Remember where it all began. Remember Reach!" It's common graffiti seen in the Covenant-occupied streets of New Mombasa in Halo 3: ODST.
    • Before Reach, it was "Remember Harvest!", as seen in Halo: Reach.
  • The Terra Firma protesters in Mass Effect, at their annual protest, shout "Remember Shanxi!" - Shanxi being the human colony that was almost destroyed by the turians during the First Contact War. Trying to incite aggression towards the turians in this way is in line with their policy of ceasing or at least reducing cooperative relations with the Council races.
  • In World of Warcraft: "Remember the Sunwell!"
  • Another example from World of Warcraft "Remember Theramore" after the aforementioned city is destroyed.
  • In Fallout: New Vegas, the passcode to the secret Enclave bunker is "Dear Old Friend, Remember Navarro". This counts as a villainous example, though the Enclave Remnants were Punch Clock Villains at worst.
  • The name of the Sons of Korhal resistance group in Starcraft recalls a planet nuked from orbit by the Confederacy they fight again. Their leader, Arcturus Mengsk, is quite fond of pointing out the millions of people killed in his speeches decrying the old regime. (To the point that one of his allies snidely asks if that's "a target number". It isn't — Mengsk has his sights set way higher.)
  • One of the common rallying cries of the Third Street Saints in Saints Row 2 is "Take back the Row!", referencing their ousting from the eponymous Saints Row neighbourhood of Stilwater following the Downer Ending of Saints Row. Indeed, the Saints' original hood is occupied by the Ultor Corporation until the end of the game, and is only reclaimed in-between games two and three when the Saints merge with Ultor.

    Web Comics 
  • Digger: Remember Tunnel 17!
  • In Drowtales, the Sharen made a particularly brutal attack against the Sarghress town of Machike. During the battle, the Sharen used forbidden arts and broke their own empire's laws by enslaving neutral commoners. This act finally raised the feud between both clans to open war and created the Sarghress battle cry of "Remember Machike".
  • Cale of Looking for Group tried to use one of these as a rousing warcry: "For Gamlon!" Richard ruined his moment when he introduced a far more catchy warcry: "For pony!" Cale's warcry fits this trope; Richard's is about ponies.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • In The Ren & Stimpy Show episode "Space Dogged", the Russian Ren and Stimpy cosmonauts accidentally invade their American astronaut counterparts (a duo of pigs). One of the pigs, upon getting knocked into his rival's spacecraft, says this trope word for word (to apparently confirm that he's truly American) before getting sucked out into space.

    Real Life 
  • Older Than Steam: Remember remember, the 5th of November in 1605. Only with this one, the violent action was thwarted in the first place.
  • During the Texas Revolution in 1836:
    • "Remember the Alamo!" - The Mexican Army's massacre of the Texas Revolutionaries after the fall of the Alamo on March 6, during the Texas Revolution.
    • "Remember Goliad!" - The Mexican massacre of prisoners at Goliad on March 27 during the Texas Revolution.
    • Both of these were used as battle cries during the Texas victory over the Mexican Army at San Jacinto, April 21, 1836, a mere six weeks after the fall of the Alamo.
  • "Remember the Maine" - The sinking of the U.S.S. Maine in Havana Harbor in 1898 helped spark the Spanish-American War.
    • For the record, her loss being the result of enemy action was considered somewhat dubious even at the time.note  But by then it didn't really matter.
  • "Remember the Lusitania!" - the sinking of the British ocean-liner (auxiliary cruiser) in 1915 helped turn world opinion against Germany in World War I. There was considerable controversy – then and now – about whether her sinking was a justified attack on a military vessel, but the battle-cry raised patriotic fervor that made the discussion moot.
    • Incidentally, it's accepted knowledge today that the ship was carrying weapons and ammunition; it's just that the passengers didn't know it. Also worth noting, the Germans went so far as to issue an official warning warning American travelers that any ship flying the British flag could be fired upon and sunk. Not that this did much to soften the public's feelings about the deaths of 1,198 passengers and crew aboard the ship, including 128 Americans.
  • "Remember Pearl Harbor!". The Japanese attack on the military base at Pearl Harbor, on December 7, 1941, prompted the USA's entry into WWII. Japan did not declare war on the United States until long after the attack—even the notice that came well after the attack was not a declaration of war, but a long-winded expression that further negotiations over America's oil embargo against Japan were futile. While certain officials in Roosevelt's administration wanted the president to thoroughly and definitively indict the Japanese government for its deplorable actions and blatant violations of even the most basic international laws and customs in his address to Congress the following day, Roosevelt himself decided to turn the address into a shorter speech that would better invoke this trope in the American public.
    • At Leyte Gulf, the American battle line contained several battleships sunk at Pearl Harbor that had been salvaged and returned to duty. They destroyed the Japanese in a One Sided Battle at Suriago Strait.
  • The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 spawned numerous examples:
    • In September 2003, the members of Baker Company with the 7th Marines, 1st Battalion created a special photographic tribute to the victims of 9/11 while serving in Iraq. The whole company is depicted from a bird's eye view spelling out a message: an arrangement of helmets placed on rifles stuck in the ground spells "9-11"; four marines spread out the American flag; and all the other members of the company are arranged to spell out "WE REMEMBER".
    • "Let's roll!", which Todd Beamer famously said when he and other passengers on United Airlines Flight 93 enacted their plan to fight back against the hijackers. Their attempt to storm the cockpit was so fierce that the hijackers—believing they were about to be overwhelmed—crashed the plane into the ground near Shanksville, PA: all on board perished, but the intended target—either the White House or the United States Capitol—was spared. Beamer's words have been used to immortalize the Heroic Sacrifice of Flight 93.
    • The Port Authority Police Department uses a shoulder patch depicting a large number "37"—the number of PAPD officers killed on September 11, 2001—superimposed over the Twin Towers and the American flag. 37 is an Arc Number in the symbolism of the PAPD.
    • The NYPD Counterterrorism Bureau uses a shoulder patch depicting a New York skyline with the Twin Towers, with the American flag and an American bald eagle filling the sky and the caption "NYPD 9/11".
    • Since 2018, the FBI has a mandatory field trip and training at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum for those becoming new agents. Considering that the FBI was one of the security agencies which failed to connect the dots before 9/11 and prevent the attacks, the implication seems to be "this is what's at stake, and we can't afford to ever make the same mistakes again".
  • The American Revolution: "Give 'em Tarleton's Quarter!", meaning essentially "take no prisoners." This was a reprisal for the killing of continental troops asking for quarter by loyalist soldiers serving under Banastre Tarleton, though the reason the loyalists continued to attack may be because Tarleton's horse was shot out from under him by musket fire, giving the impression that the continentals fired while pretending to surrender.
  • An inversion: a French anti-war/Actual Pacifist (or Suicidal Pacifist, if you prefer) slogan at the beginning of World War II was "Pourquoi mourir pour Danzig?" ("Why die for Danzig?")
  • A poster produced by the Vichy Regime showed a French sailor sinking beneath the waves with the legend: "N'oubliez pas Oran!" (Don't forget Oran!) This was after the British Royal Navy attacked the now neutral (after the Fall of France during World War 2) French naval base of Mers el Kebir near Oran in Algeria on 3 July 1940.
  • A particularly grim example during the Indian Mutiny of 1857 was the battle cry of "Remember Cawnpore". The British East India Company garrison at Cawnpore (now Kanpur) under General Wheeler surrendered to Indian rebels under Nana Sahib on the explicit promise that they would be granted safe passage to Allahabad. Sahib promptly reneged on this promise and massacred virtually all of the British force as they tried to leave the city. More horrific, however, was the subsequent massacre of several hundred women and children at the Bibighar in Cawnpore; when rebel Sepoy troops protested at being ordered to kill women and children, Sahib's advisors simply hired local butchers to finish the job with cleavers and dump the corpses in a well. The massacre outraged many Indians who would otherwise have supported Sahib (it's said the women of his household went on hunger strike in protest), and provoked a series of extremely brutal reprisals from the British.
  • Whenever there is a crisis or seeming national setback, some British politicians and some of the loonier newspapers can always be relied upon to invoke the Dunkirk Spirit and evoke a time when Britain stood alone and its people pulled together against perfidy coming out of Europe (and to a lesser extent disinterest and aloof withdrawal out of the United States - although in the 2010's, the target is definitely perfidious Europe...)
  • After the Euro-Maidan Revolution in Ukraine and during the 2014 Odessa Clashes, where approximately 40 anti-maidan protestors were burned to death after they were forced into the Trade Unions House and had petrol bombs thrown at them by a pro-maidan mob, “Remember Odessa” became a rallying cry for anti-maidan and pro-russian activists, up until the Russian Invasion of Ukraine, where the incident and the chant was used to galvanize Russian forces during the Southern Ukraine Offensive.
  • On February 24, 2022, at the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the border garrison on Snake Island were instructed by a Russian warship to surrender or they would be fired upon. The Ukrainian response was "Russian warship, go fuck yourself." The garrison was apparently killed, and within hours, their last words went viral throughout Ukraine and for the country's supporters around the world. Later it was revealed that the garrison was actually captured, and they were returned to a hero's welcome in Ukraine. Not only that, but the Russian warship in question, the Moskva, was sunk on April 14 by Ukrainian missiles.