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May 05, 2011

Benito & Abraham

Cinco de Mayo (Spanish for May the 5th) is NOT Mexico's Independence Day. That is actually September 16, 1810.

Cinco de Mayo honors an important battle when the underdog, the Mexican army (of 4,000), defeated the French army (of 8,000) at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862. It was important because the hubris of the French, coupled with disciplined perseverence of a people under the leadership of its president, Benito Juarez, resulted in an outcome that no one predicted, and had huge reverberations for the world.

Benito Juarez These reverberations forever affected the fate of the United States because had Mexico not been victorious at Puebla, the French would have moved onto its ultimate goal of aiding the southern Confederacy during the US Civil War. Mexico's victory at Puebla disallowed the French from providing support to the Confederacy, and resulted in the eventual ending of the US Civil War. And ever since the Battle of Puebla, no country in any of the Americas—not North, not Central, not South—has been invaded by Europe.

Through all of this, Benito Juarez and Abraham Lincoln remained the strongest of allies. To me, their style of leadership had many similarities that I admire so much. Calm. Confident. Values-based. Results-oriented. Determined. Focused. Unflappable.

Abraham Lincoln

All of this to say ...

Happy Cinco de Mayo. :)


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