General Antonio López de Santa Anna: My Final Grief
It’s in our sick and dying bed that we are sadly given no other task but to evaluate all our years of living. The body no longer full of vigor nor fight, the heart heavy form sorrows past; the footsteps of death nocking at the door serve as an earnest call to evaluate and make peace with all we did in life. Suddenly, its time to review the many chronicles that compose our life story. As I look back on my life I am overwhelmed with grief. I grieve not for missed opportunities, God knows I seized every opportune moment. I grieve for the misjudgment of my ambitious endeavors, which will be forever erroneously highlighted and remain an eternal blemish upon my legacy.
As a child I knew I was of élite class, my parents being respected Spanish creoles. The call to greatness was embedded into my very core early in life. While other colonial children played childish games I marveled at my father’s grandeur and poise as he served as a sub-delegate for the Spanish province of Veracruz. I had no time for immature play; my days were composed of tactful secret reconnaissance and reenactment of private meetings held amongst my father and important officials. My desire was to be just like my father, if not better.
My parents were wealthy enough to afford extra servants who would grant every one of my requests; these were my loyal subjects. I enacted great conquests and even greater speeches full of charismatic zeal and awe inspiring rhetoric. My loyal people moved to unquestionable obedience. Sometimes we defeated and conquered, other times we resisted in defense of our land; what side we fought on was not important as long as I ruled. Looking back at my childhood I can clearly see where the early seeds of great pride and ambition began to take root.
It was this inner drive that lead me, against my parents’ will, to join the Veracruz infantry at the tender age of sixteen (1810). Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla had just...
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