Today is the 156th anniversary of the famous Battle of Camarón (Bataille de Camerone) that took place this day in old Mexico.
Ceremonies are held to commemorate this event wherever there are Foreign Legionnaires while the official event is held every year in the quartier Vienot, Aubagne, France. Here is the official web page on this year’s Camerone Day and the official press booklet can be found here. The theme of this year’s celebration is esprit de sacrifice / spirit of sacrifice. (We speak of the spirit of sacrifice when someone is ready to devote himself to a being or a cause. The word spirit, from the Latin spiritus meaning sentiment, is used here in the sense of a feeling that directs the action of a person or a community.)
The official Porteur de la Main (the designated veteran who carries the wooden hand of Captain Danjou) is Colonel Loïc Corbel. As a young lieutenant, Corbel joined the Foreign Legion at Sidi Bel-Abbès in August of 1952. Then he leaves for Tonkin, where he is assigned to the 1st BN of the 2nd Regiment (2REI) and what followed was an amazing record of valor in both Indochina and Algeria and a long military career association with the Foreign Legion. Colonel Corbel will be accompanied by Major William Istre, Chief Warrant Officer Viktor Brabec, Warrant Officer Sébastien Raynard and Brigadier-in-Chief Nassufou Abdallah. All have eloquent service records. An interesting note from the article above: “according to an unwritten rule, Captain Danjou’s hand-carrier and his escorts must have left active service.”
If your French is up to it you can watch this bit of history on Youtube and this is a good article on the battle as well. Also, I received this link from Olivier (thanks). Already there are videos up on YouTube of the ceremony. Thanks Hugo.
Congrats to the Legion on their very unique and solemn traditional celebration.