Mexico Paid Tribute To Earthquake Victims And Heroes During Its Day Of The Dead Parade

"We had an obligation to pay tribute to the fallen, while transmitting the message that the city is still standing."

Mexico's Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) festivities have taken on a new meaning this year, as the country mourns the people who were killed in two earthquakes last month. As the nation recovers from the tragedy, a parade in Mexico City on Saturday paid moving tribute to the rescue workers who leapt into action in the midst of disaster.

As the New York Times reports, Mexico was rocked by an 8.2-magnitude earthquake off the coast of the country on September 7 (the strongest in Mexico in a century), followed by a 7.2-magnitude quake only 12 days later, which toppled buildings and killed more than 200 people in the capital city.

Saturday's parade was led by a sculpture of a raised fist made of hard hats and pick-axes, a reference to aid workers who raised their fists to call for silence as they searched for survivors in the rubble. According to AP, some rescuers themselves also marched in the parade, along with rescue dogs.

Parade coordinator Julio Blasina told AP that the raised fist has become "a national and international symbol" since last month's quakes, adding of this weekend's event, "We had an obligation to pay tribute to the fallen, while transmitting the message that the city is still standing."

The Zócalo plaza, at the center of Mexico City, was reportedly filled with traditional papier mache skeletons, as well as photographs and shrines to the victims of the quakes. "All our roots are reflected here," parade attendee Leo Cancino, told AP. "Many are afraid of death but no, it's part of life."

According to Reuters, this is the second annual parade of its kind in Mexico City, sponsored by the Mexican tourism and culture ministries and inspired by a parade in the 2015 James Bond film Spectre. (The holiday, which stretches from October 31 to November 2, is traditionally marked by quieter family gatherings to remember lost loved ones.) More than 700 performers participated in this year's four-mile event, which was reportedly attended by 300,000 people.

Artistic director Alejandra Gonzalez Anaya told Reuters that the parade is meant to "celebrate life," adding, "It's to put on the radar of Mexicans an important tradition ... so we feel proud of showing something so important from Mexico to the world."

For more information about how you can help Mexico's relief efforts, click here.


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