From September 2012 edition of MIRAc News / Palante!
The Meaning of Mexican Independence
By Marco Davila
“Long live religion. Long live our mother the Virgin of Guadalupe. Long live Fernando VII. Long live America and death to the bad government!” With those words Miguel Hidalgo launched the “Shout of Dolores” that marked the beginning of the end of Spanish colonialism, or in other words, the start of Mexican Independence.
During the month of September, Mexicans around the world have festivities, celebrations and commemorations of our identity as Mexicans; the dominance of truth and intelligence over force; the end of colonialism; the abolition of slavery; respect and brotherhood among people.
September 16, 1810 marked the start of when the Spanish Crown was given a taste of what it means to be on the wrong side of history. Every year on the night of September 15, Mexicans remember the start of our independence as a nation.
It’s a month of festivities to celebrate what we’ve won but also to protest what we still have yet to accomplish: to celebrate the victory of 1810 while also resisting the imposition and oppression of 2012. Every September 15 and 16, Mexicans continue bathing ourselves in nationalism, remembering the feats of those patriots long ago, but without forgetting that today, we have millions of people in poverty, millions of people without healthcare, millions of our compatriots that work to barely survive, millions of Mexicans that continue being forced to abandon the land that gave birth to us.
This September, we remember our famous citizens, our compatriots, heroes and heroines of Mexico, those that dared to think differently, those that gave us a country to embrace and defend, those that started a great independence movement, those that were persecuted, torn apart, excommunicated. Those human beings, of flesh and blood like ourselves, with errors and virtues. We won’t forget them: Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, José María Morelos y Pavón, Juan Aldama, Ignacio María de Allende y Unzaga, José Mariano Jiménez, Vicente Guerrero, Guadalupe Victoria, Leona Vicario Fernández de San Salvador, Andrés Quintana Roo, Francisco Xavier Mina, José María Morelos y Pavón, Mariano Matamoros y Guridi, Nicolás Bravo, Josefa Ortiz de Domínguez, Mariana Rodríguez del Toro, Ignacio López Rayón, Fray Servando Teresa de Mier, Manuel Mier y Terán, Hermenegildo Galeana…and the millions that are almost never mentioned in the official history.
Long live all the heroes and heroines that gave us a nation! Long live the thousands of anonymous combatants that longed and struggled to live free of European chains!
Mexican compatriots: This September 15 we reflect on the current situation in our country. And finally, at the end of the day, a people that still hasn’t been able to be happy, can’t presume to be independent.
Note: Mexican independence is celebrated in September, not in May as is erroneously believed by many in the United States. But we could still say that May 5, 1862 was something like a Second Mexican Independence since the French empire also tried to dominate us.