Message on the Observance of Cinco de Mayo

May 4, 1983

It is a special privilege for me to join with the government and people of Mexico and those of Mexican ancestry in this country in commemorating Cinco de Mayo.

May 5 holds an important place for all who value freedom. It was on this date in 1862, in the Battle of Puebla, that General Ignacio Zaragoza led two thousand Mexicans against an invasion force of six thousand 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 Mexico and throughout the Hemisphere we recall the historic victory of the Cinco de Mayo with pride. It demonstrates not only the determination and love of country felt by the Mexican people, but also the heartfelt longing of people everywhere to live in freedom.

The ties of respect and friendship between Mexico and this country make it especially meaningful for us to extend congratulations on this Cinco de Mayo. May the legacy of General Zaragoza's victory be forever cherished by the people of the Americas.

Ronald Reagan