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Faces of the Military
On October 12th, Spain celebrates its National Day, the Día de la Hispanidad. In South America, the day is called the more nuanced, optimistic and inclusive Día de la Raza. In the United States, the Knights of Colombus institutionalized a more practical name for the day. I was privileged to watch the branches of the country’s diverse military forces march just feet from my front door. I’m not usually big on military parades, but the flamboyance and simple pride that these service men and women showed was a sight to see. As Spain is a constitutional monarchy (to some an anachronism in itself), the king is the head of state and therefore the military, and each branch wore highly decorative (if impractical) uniforms representing the romance and nostalgia of their respective specializations and of the various parts of the world in which they operate.
Whatever your stance on monarchies, it was a great thing to witness the police, armed forces and civil guard march amongst spectators who see them as symbols of what is good about this country, not of what is bad. At such close proximity, I was able to see the faces of these soldiers and police up close, faces basking in the public eye at a moment of dignity and pride. Here are some of those faces.