The children who died for their country.
This week is a tremendously historical week for Mexico. Not only is today particularly important because it is the day that Mexicans began their long-fight for independence from Spain, but this week in 1847 also marks the anniversary of the US occupation in Mexico City.
Beginning in early September, the occupation was intended to break the Mexican people’s will to fight against US territorial acquisitions north of the Rio Grande. But, the inherently violent and imperialistic intervention has tormented the Mexican psyche ever since.
One legend that encapsulates Mexican resentment and pride is the legend of the Niños Héroes (Children Heroes). As the story goes, young teenage cadets stationed in the presidents castle at Chapultapec Park were being overrun by American marines. Instead of giving up, these teenagers fought to the death as the Americans stormed the castle. When all were dead or caputured and the end had come, one child refused to surrender but instead wrapped himself in the Mexican flag and leaped to his death from the castle balcony, nearly 40 feet from the ground.
To commemorate fallen marines from the battle of Chapultapec, the US marine corps has decorated their dress uniform pants with a red line along the side that signifies the loss of American marines during the battle.