SANTIAGO – Chile on Wednesday held its one of the most important traditions, the Military Parade, to celebrate the 208th anniversary of the “Día de las Glorias del Ejército del Chile” (Day of the Glories of the Chilean Army)”.
This South American country officially declared independence from Spain on February 12, 1818, and was recognized on April 25, 1844. However, by tradition, Chileans celebrate Independence Day on September 18, the day in 1810 when the First Government Junta was established and the war of independence began.
The “Army Glorias”, in which the armed forces of the country parade around the Parque O’Higgins in a display of their force and might, marks the anniversary of the first-ever military parade in the history of Chile. Army Day was formally established in 1915.
Not only is this a celebration, but it is also a day of remembrance, for the sacrifice of those who have given their lives serving Chile.
At 3:00 pm, the traditional ceremony took place at O’Higgins Park in Santiago.
The event was headed by President Sebastián Piñera, becoming his first Military Parade in his second term, which also includes government authorities and leaders of the armed forces.
Con una gran Parada Militar en el día de las Glorias del Ejército, junto a las FFAA y de Orden, terminan las Fiestas Patrias. Nuestro Ejército ha demostrado en Chacabuco, Maipú, Yungay, Morro de Arica, La Concepción y en tantas otras batallas su heroísmo y amor por Chile 🇨🇱 pic.twitter.com/H6DkUIWGWm
— Sebastian Piñera (@sebastianpinera) September 19, 2018
This year more than 9,500 troops took part in the parade. They include 3,684 personnel of Chilean Army, 2,368 of the Navy, 1,296 of the Air Force, and 1,600 of Carabineros de Chile.
This year cadets of the Military School were led by the first woman on horseback in the Great Military Parade. A total of 315 women of Chilean Army took part in the march.
Chilean Navy was part of the parade after 9 years, with a crew of 22 aircraft (14 planes and 8 helicopters) that filled the skies of the capital.
— Armada de Chile (@Armada_Chile) September 19, 2018
However, with an approximate duration of 2 and a half hours, the grand event was not broadcast on national television for the first time, after Canal 13 and La Red decided to disassociate themselves from the event.
In addition, this year the parade had a noticeable difference compared to last year, since on this occasion the Army decided not to present tanks or other armored vehicles.
In this context, General de División Juan Eduardo González, commander of the garrison of the Metropolitan Region, told La Tercera newspaper that the purpose of this year was to show austerity and simplicity: “That it shows greater human contingent of the Army, instead of rolling stock, “he explained.
According to this decision, this time the Chilean Army would have preferred to focus attention on its air power that includes recently incorporated F16 airplanes and Black Hawk helicopters.
Chile borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, and the Drake Passage in the far south. Its capital and largest city is Santiago de Chile, or simply Santiago. The city, which was founded in 1541, has been the country’s capital since colonial times. The Mapocho River is lined by parks such as Parque Forestal, where the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes is located.