Reasons of a commemoration
Why an important monument on the site of the CAMERONE combat when, on the French side, only a small group of men mobilized?
Isn't it a confrontation like so many others in military history where the weaker is finally crushed by the stronger? Certainly, but three striking characteristics emerge from this warlike action:
- The first is fidelity to the mission received whatever the sacrifices. Surrounded since morning, with no chance of rescue, the 65 officers, non-commissioned officers, and legionaries fought until, by afternoon, only three fit men remained, simply because honor dictates that he who does not surrender as long as one can use a weapon;
- The second is the great example of humanity given by Commander, Doctor TALAVERA who, after leading his National Guard battalion all day in a tough and deadly assault, found his medical vocation after the last shot and began to treat wounded in the very place of the meeting;
- the third is the global and international influence assumed by these heroes. A graduating class of Saint-Cyr was baptized: “Centenary of Camerone”. The Foreign Legion, in homage to the Military Virtue demonstrated on that day by both sides, has made this anniversary of April 30, 1863 its official annual celebration. And, on this date, in countries around the globe, the Associations of Former Legionnaires -fraternity and mutual aid groups- come together to celebrate the cult of Memory, strengthen their friendship ties and reaffirm the ideal of "Honor and Loyalty" (Honneur et Fidélité). what happened to them during their presence under our tricolor flag. This is how, crossing our borders, the word CAMERONE, the French spelling of the name of the modest "Veracruz town" of "CAMARON" is already known and evoked in all parts of the world.
So much value and so much well-deserved fame that a significant monument concretizes them, commemorating the 100,000 foreigners who fought in the legionnaire's uniform and the 35,000 who lost their lives for remaining faithful to their word, but above all magnifying any particularism. of countries, the inscription "VIRTUTI MILITARI" has the front of the Memorial. This is how the Mexican authorities understood it, authorizing its erection, and expressing their solidarity.
- General PÉNETTE, Founder member and First President of CAMERONE, A.C. -