Cinco de Mayo: Why It is Meaningful for Me

Cinco de Mayo is normally seen as a day to party and drink a lot of Corona and Don Julio. Cinco de Mayo is actually a day celebrating the Battle of Puebla

Cinco de Mayo (Spanish for "fifth of May") is a celebration held on May 5. It is celebrated in the United States and in Mexico, primarily in the state of Puebla,[where the holiday is called El Día de la Batalla de Puebla (English: The Day of the Battle of Puebla). Mexican Americans also often see the day as a source of pride; one way they can honor their ethnicity is to celebrate this day.

The date is observed to commemorate the Mexican army's unlikely victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla on May 5, 1862, under the leadership of General Ignacio Zaragoza Seguín. In the United States, Cinco de Mayo is sometimes mistaken to be Mexico's Independence Day—the most important national holiday in Mexico—which is celebrated on September 16.

For me Cinco de Mayo took on a whole new meaning and importance on May 5, 2000, exactly 15 years ago today. Cinco de Mayo marks for me the day that I became completely free of any and all sentences from my earlier more turbulent days. In November 1997 I was released on parole from the Colorado Department of Corrections on a sentence out of Jefferson County Colorado imposed in 1987. At the time of my Parole the Colorado Department of Corrections could have kept me under parole supervision and conditions until 2005. On May 5, 2000 while on a trip to South Carolina I was called and told I needed to report to my Parole Officers office as soon as possible. On May 5, 2000 the Colorado Parole Board entered a Total Discharge of my remaining parole term whereby removing any and all further supervision of me by anyone.

Cinco de Mayo also means a little more to me because it is the day of birth of one of my closest and truest of friends Jose de Jesus Esparza Hernandez aka Chuyin.


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