“Love of country,” said Cicero, “is not a preoccupation of men, but an impression of nature. There is no nation, whether of the cultured and civilized, or of the barbaric and vulgar, that does not feel this impression. Cross the whole space of the times that have passed since the creation of the world to our own; record one by one the nations that have populated the universe, and you will find in all of them a love for the freedom of their homeland.”
–Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla
November 1810, Guadalajara.
The first commemoration of the Grito de Dolores could not be witnessed by Hidalgo, as he had already been shot. It was carried out by Ignacio López Rayón and Andrés Quintana Roo on September 16th, 1812, in the building El Chapitel, Huichapan, in the current state of Hidalgo, where the Grito de Independencia was given for the first time in a festive setting.
Shortly after, on September 14, 1813, José María Morelos included it as sentiment #23 of his Sentimientos de la Nación, declaring:
The day of September 16 is solemnized every year, as the anniversary day in which the voice of Independence was raised and our holy freedom began, for it was on that day that the lips of the nation unfolded to claim its rights with a sword in hand to be heard; always remembering the merit of the great hero, Don Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla and his companion Don Ignacio Allende.
During the 19th century, each year there were modifications to the celebration, but since the first independent government, the celebration remained constant, generally with the 15th in the hands of the civil authorities, and the 16th with a series of traditions of a religious and military character. In 1857, with the liberal constitutionalist movement, the religious character was left aside to become a non-religious commemorative tribute.
Today the celebration begins on the night of the 15th around 11:00 pm when the President of Mexico delivers the Grito de Independencia -thus imitating Hidalgo- from a balcony of the Palacio Nacional, communicating the patriotic spirit to those present in the Plaza de la Constitución, who generally chant the voice of the President -they in turn reiterating to the people that they listened to Hidalgo, following him in the struggle and keeping it up until the final triumph, a decade later-. This model is being repeated in all the public squares of the country, from the federal to the local level, becoming a true celebration of national remembrance.
Aniversario del inicio de la Independencia de México. (s/f). Org.mx. Recuperado el 30 de septiembre de 2022, de https://www.cndh.org.mx/noticia/aniversario-del-inicio-de-la-independencia-de-mexico
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