Mexico's history has shown the importance
of being able to patrol and defend her coastlines in order
to prevent invasions. Many such conflicts have occurred
in Mexico's past. Along with defense, there is a need
to develop and take advantage of the oceans in a rational
and organized manner. For Mexico, its seas are a great
source of bounty and employment. Because of these reasons,
the history of the Mexican National Navy runs parallel
to the birth of Mexico as a nation.
Military Naval school of Mexico was created in 1897, during
the regime of Porfirio Diaz. But because of its maritime
inexperience, Mexico's navy had many foreign officials,
much to the irritation of nationalists. The country took
its first step toward maritime solidarity on June 1, 1917,
by nationalizing the navy. On that date the merchant ship
Tabasco sailed from the port of Veracruz under
the command of Captain Rafael Izaguirre Castañares,
with a totally Mexican crew. This was the birth of Dia
de la Marina (Navy Day) .
The voyage of the Tobasco was a
symbolic ratification of the recent Article 32 of the
Magna Carta of 1917, which insured national loyalty by
declaring that no matter how invaluable an individual's
contribution to the navy might be, if he was not born
in Mexico, he could not serve in the navy.
On December 30, 1939 President Lazaro Cardenas
reorganized his cabinet and formed the Department of the
Navy. However just one year later, on December 31, 1940,
it was converted to its present status as Secretary of
Official recognition of Dia de la Marina
was by a presidential agreement published in the official
gazette of Mexico, April 30, 1942.
Recently President Vicente Fox Quesada was aboard the
flagship Ignacio Allende during Navy Day celebrations
in the Port of Veracruz. Part of his speech contained
In Mexico, the sea holds great hope for the future
and economic growth, so the best way to celebrate Navy
Day is to assign greater resources so that the Navy can
carry out its mission of protecting the country.
During Navy Day, San Felipe launches a small
flotilla for a "drive by". Pangas and shrimp
boats, some decked with wreaths and arbors of flowers,
motor by the town's beach drive (the Malecon). Flowers
are often jettisoned in memory of sailors, both civilian
and military, whose lives have been lost in the performance
of their duties. Live music and celebrations follow.