Message on the Commemoration of Cinco de Mayo

May 5, 1982

I welcome this opportunity to join with the government and citizens of Mexico and Americans of Mexican ancestry in commemorating Cinco de Mayo.

May 5, 1862, holds a very special place in the hearts of all who cherish freedom.

On that day, in the battle of Puebla, General Ignacio Zaragoza led 2,000 Mexicans against an invasion force of 6,000 French troops who were on the march toward the capital of Mexico. After a long day of fighting against overwhelming odds, the Mexican patriots emerged victorious.

In ceremonies in the United States and Mexico, that victory of the Cinco de Mayo is remembered with great pride, for it testifies not only to the courage and patriotism of the Mexican people, but to the yearnings of citizens everywhere to live free of foreign domination.

Ronald Reagan