Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Scenes from Colombian Independence Day



Honor guards on the march. What if they were replaced by marching schoolteachers, or doctors?

Today, 20 de Julio, was Colombian independence day. Colombia dates the start of its revolution from a tussle over a flowerpot in La Casa del Florero on Plaza Bolívar.

As in many nations, independence is commemorated with a military parade. Unlike most other nations, however, Colombia's military is carrying on a seemingly unending conflict. Amongst all the exhibition of the selfless young men in spotless uniforms, there were reminders that war is terrible and that, despite its recent stability, Bogotá still sometimes feels like a city under siege.

Snapping pictures of marching honor guards on Seventh Ave. 

Lots of variety in headware and hair among the crowd. 

In La Candelaria, meanwhile, a soldier on the lookout for trouble.
Are these guys sharpshooters, or just interested observers?

These folks found a nice vantage point in a restaurant window. 

A disabled soldier is wheeled past the Plaza de Toros. Many are victims of guerrilla landmines. 

Special forces troops on the way home after the parade. This guy appears to be carrying a minesweeping device. 
Warplanes fly amongst downtown's high-rises. 

The parade passes over 26th Street, where express bus lanes are still under construction.  Impressively, they were at work on Indpendence Day. 
A mass in Plaza del Choro.

In the afternoon, Seventh Ave. turned into a street party. 


A Colombian flag hangs from a La Candelaria house. 
By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours

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