Bill Clinton photo

Message on the Observance of Cinco de Mayo, 1999

May 04, 1999

Warm greetings to everyone celebrating Cinco de Mayo.

It was 137 years ago today that General Ignacio Zargoza Seguin led an outnumbered and ill-equipped Mexican militia into battle. With brave hearts, they successfully defended their young nation and set a powerful example of hope and determination for freedom-loving citizens around the world.

Well over a century has passed since this battle, but we can still learn much from the Mexican patriots who fought at Puebla. Their story reminds us to cherish our own independence and to honor those who struggled and sacrificed to attain it. It encourages us to stand up against injustice and to uphold our ideals. Finally, it shows us that brave men and women can overcome great odds when they are united in principle and purpose.

As we mark this special holiday, we also celebrate the enduring friendship between the United States and Mexico and the rich cultural heritage that Mexican Americans have brought to our society. As we stand at the threshold of the 21st century, let us vow to work together to forge a future of peace and prosperity for our hemisphere and the world.

Hillary joins me in extending best wishes to all for a memorable celebration.


William J. Clinton, Message on the Observance of Cinco de Mayo, 1999 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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