President Enrique Peña Nieto swore in the Soldiers of National Military Service, Class of 1997, early and late volunteers, at the Heroic Military College.

On  May 5, 1862, 154 years ago, the Eastern Army, led by the young General Ignacio Zaragoza, defeated the invading forces of Napoleon III. A group of patriots, composed of military men and volunteer citizens, faced and overcame the best prepared and equipped militia of the time.

“In our history, there are feats that highlight the pride of being Mexican, deeds of valor that strengthen our unity as a nation. Therein lies the importance of the Battle of Puebla.

A century and a half later, this glorious feat remains a source of identity for Mexicans. It is a celebration that links us inside and outside the country.”

In countries such as the United States and Canada, activities are organized that bring together thousands of people to celebrate this landmark date. Mexican communities abroad celebrate the pride of being Mexican; pride in their history and in their roots.

Just as in the Battle of Puebla, thousands of Mexicans answered the call of the Fatherland, today, nearly 450,000 young people are ready to serve their nation.

“Serving Mexico from the ranks of the Army, Navy or Air Force is a great privilege and an enormous responsibility. Wearing the uniform of the Fatherland involves the moral imperative of engaging in irreproachable behavior. It implies the duty to conduct oneself in full compliance with the law, and entails the obligation to act with absolute respect for human rights.”

The president highlighted what the country expects of the Armed Forces:

- The enormous potential of this army of young people should boost national development on several fronts.

- Their social conscience, talent and energy should be at the service of the finest causes of our society.

They should always act according to the highest civic values and, above all, assume the role that corresponds to youth in the transformation of Mexico.

“In doing so, they will contribute to building a more just, inclusive and prosperous Mexico and to building a Mexico at peace, where order, justice and legality reign.

Wearing the uniform of the Fatherland involves the moral imperative of engaging in irreproachable behavior. It implies the duty to conduct oneself in full compliance with the law, and entails the obligation to act with absolute respect for human rights. Only then, can the honor, social esteem and moral authority of our Armed Forces be preserved and increased.”