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Myers Participates in Mexican Independence Day Events

By Jim Garamone
American Forces Press Service

MEXICO CITY, Sept. 15, 2003 – The top American military official arrived here today to take part in ceremonies commemorating Mexico's independence from Spain in 1810.

Joint Chiefs Chairman Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers is attending El Grito celebrations Sept. 16 in this capital city. He is also holding conversations with Mexican military leaders to enhance dialogue between the two neighbors.

This is the second time in a row that the chairman has attended El Grito. The term translates to "the cry" for independence. It marks the day that Father Miguel Hidalgo proclaimed, and launched the war for, independence. The day starts with the bells in the churches and cathedrals ringing at the stroke of midnight.

Also attending the celebrations are Adm. Vern Clark, chief of naval operations; Gen. Paul Kern, head of Army Materiel Command; and other civilian and military leaders.

Mexican President Vicente Fox is hosting the international members.

The Mexican armed forces do not have a comparable position to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Gen. Gerardo Vega Garcia represents the army and air force in the Mexican cabinet, and Myers met with him soon after arriving.

Officials said military-to-military cooperation between Mexico and the United States is small but important. The chairman's conversations are meant to enhance the cooperation between the two countries.

Myers will leave following a military parade Sept. 16 to honor Mexican independence, and will travel to Poland, Hungary, Bosnia and Kosovo before returning to Washington.

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Click photo for screen-resolution imageMexican Army Brig. Gen. Jesus Pedrosa, the commandant of the War College, welcomes Joint Chiefs Chairman Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers Sept. 15 to Mexico City. Besides attending El Grito celebrations Sept. 16 in the capital city, Myers is holding conversations with Mexican military leaders to enhance dialogue between the two neighbors. Photo by Jim Garamone,AFPS  
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Click photo for screen-resolution imageMexican Gen. Gerardo Vega Garcia (left), and Joint Chiefs Chairman Air Force Gen. Richard B. Myers review Mexican military forces during his visit Sept. 15-16. Myers was in Mexico City to attend El Grito celebrations Sept. 16 and to converse with that country's military leaders. Photo by Jim Garamone,AFPS  
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