Reflections on the Importance of Villa and Zapata & the Monumento a la Revolución

All summer long we have been reading and writing about the Mexican Revolution and its effects on the country of Mexico.  My only personal experience with Mexico is traveling to border towns over the course of the past 20 years.  Going to border towns in most countries one cannot gauge a countries history or significant events through the endless tourist trap stores.  Mexico for me was quite different in that I was always able to find pictures, shirts and artwork of Pancho Villa, and Emiliano Zapata in the shops Tijuana, Nogales, and Ciudad Juarez.  For someone with no knowledge of these men it may go unnoticed, but I knew who there were.  Because of this class it brought back these memories of seeing these “souvenirs” of these revolutionaries.  Throughout the summer reading more in depth on the Mexican Revolution and its interjection into the fabric of Mexican heritage it became evident why people such as Villa and Zapata are still revered.  Compare how the Mexican people view Villa and Zapata to how Americans view American revolutionaries of Benjamin Franklin, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.  For many in America relating to these men is nonexistent, and offers little impact of relevance.  In Mexico it seems so many can relate and find relevance in Villa and Zapata.  Quite possibly the relative closeness in time has something to do with this, but I would argue their message that they centered their fight on was based on the people.  Because of this, people in Mexico and around the world continue to hold dear their memory by offering their images as a way to keep their vision and honor their legacy.  Compare this with the border towns on the United States side.  Are stores selling t-shirts with Franklin, Washington, and Jefferson?

In the United States honoring “revolutionary fathers of the country” such as, Washington, and Jefferson are a part of the landscape in Washington D.C. and found in countless place names around the country.  In Mexico men such as, Pancho Villa, Emiliano Zapata, Francisco Madero, and Lázaro Cárdenas are immortalized and revered at the Monumento a la Revolución in Mexico City.  The placement of the monument  in the Plaza de la República serves as a prominent feature on the landscape of the city.  The immense size of 220 ft in height is imposing and gives an immediate sense of importance.  Another important aspect is this monument is the final resting place for the heroes of the Mexican Revolution.  Honoring these men at the monument is a way to bring them to the people and helps continues their relevance for the people of Mexico.

Monumento_a_la_Revolución2         

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