Today, September 13, our nation will stand united in silence.
During the 1846-1848 Mexican- American war, young military cadets were kept safe amongst the Mexican Military Academy in Chapultapec castle. As United States troops broke through the capitol’s protective barriers, Generals Nicolas Bravo and Jose Mariano Monterde, ordered all cadets to fall back from the enemy invaded Chapultapec.
The commanding Generals after giving their protective orders, moved onward in their struggle to protect our nation in the Battle of Chapultapec. It was only later did they realize, six boy cadets, refused to surrender. These six boy heroes, aged 13 – 19, fought until sunrise to resist invasion. In the end, on September 13, 1847, five boys had been killed by American troops. The last surviving boy cadet, Juan Escutia, according to accounts, leapt from Chapultapec Castle wrapped in the Mexican flag to protect it from enemy hands.
In Memory of Los Niños Heroes de Chapultapec:
Juan Escutia: Born in Tepic between 1828 and 1832. His admittance papers were lost in the battle; he entered the Academy on September 1847 and is believed to of been a second Lieutenant of artillery. A mural in the Chapultapec castle now depicts his defending of our Mexican flag.
Juan de la Barrera: Born in Mexico City in 1828. He was the son of a General, enlisted at age 12, and was admitted to the Academy in November of 1843. He was a lieutenant in the military engineers.
Francisco Marquez: Born in Guadalajara in 1843. He entered the Academy in January 1847 as a cadet. His bullet ridden body was found alongside Juan Escutia. He was the youngest of the six.
Agustin Melgar: Born in Chihuahua between 1828 and 1832, son of a Lieutenant Colonel. He was admitted to the Academy in November 1846 and was expelled in May 1847 for missing a review. He was readmitted September 8, 1847, five days before his death. A note was found in his records stating he continued defending the Castle after being found alone. He was critically wounded and was found dead on September 15, 1847.
Fernando Montes de Oca: Born in Azcapotzalco between 1828 and 1832. He entered the Academy in January 1847. His records note: Killed for his country, September 13, 1847.
Vicente Suarez: Born in Puebla in 1833. He was the son of a cavalry officer and entered the Academy in October 1845. He was killed at his post in hand to hand combat. A note in his record states: Killed defending his country at his sentry post on September 13, 1847.