[Cinco de Mayo] [Mexican Independence Day]


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Cinco de Mayo

Map and image are from Mexico Online; click on the map to visit the site.


Contrary to common misconceptions, this holiday does not celebrate Mexican independence. Instead, the holiday commemorates a first victory of Mexican forces led by General Ignacio Zaragoza Seguín over French forces in the Battle of Puebla on May 6, 1862.


However, this Mexican victory at Puebla only delayed the French invasion of Mexico City; a year later, the French occupied Mexico. The French occupying forces placed Maximilian I, Emperor of Mexico on the throne of Mexico. The French were eventually defeated and expelled in 1867. Maximilian was executed by President Benito Juarez, five years after the Battle of New Mexico.


Now, we of the Sister Cities organization are not martially inclined. As best we can, we sublimate all celebrations into culinary delights, a much more sensible approach to international relationships. In 2006, for example, a very successful dinner and fundraiser was organized at "El Rio Grande," an Ormond Beach Mexican restaurant on May 6.  It was a great evening, with lots of fun and delicious food.  Thanks to Angie and Reinhold Schlieper for organizing it! Meanwhile, there have been follow-up events in DeLand with appreciation and accolades to President Dixie Blake. When we come to celebrating and exploring international cuisine, we of the Sister Cities Organization are second to none. Come and join us; send us e-mail to find out about the newest events.


One of these days, we shall have a combined Cinco de Mayo with our Mexican friends, our French friends, and--since the executed Maximilian was Austrian--we'll include some folks from the Alps also. That'll be an occasion to bury all hatchets.

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