As a grand gesture of friendship, Bachelet actively sang along the Peruvian anthem before the start of the parade. It also seemed that she was wearing the red and white "escarapela" on her suit, the official Independence Day symbol, a badge containing the Peruvian flag.
Of all the distinguished guests attending yesterday’s change of government, Bachelet is the only foreign president remaining in Peru for today’s activities. Also attending is the Archbishop of Lima, Cardinal Juan Luis Cipriani.
The parade commemorating Peru’s 185 years of independence from Spain began at 10.00 a.m. (Lima time) at Ave. Brazil and is watched by thousands of spectators.
The event began with the military battalion ‘Chavín de Huántar’, – soldiers participating in ending the Japanese embassy hostage crisis in 1997 -, followed by members of Haiti Peace corps, a company that participated in missions to maintain the peace in the Caribbean country.
The Great Military Parade is divided in eight groups. The opening companies Chavín de Huántar and Haiti are joined by Army battalions, the Peruvian Navy and National Police in the first group.
The second group shows reserve companies, "ronderos" of Huancayo, Tarapoto and Ayacucho, as well as school- and college students from Lima and Callao.
The third is assembled by the Navy’s air defense services; cadets, students of the Technical Naval Training Center and the National School of Merchant Marine, special forces and female personnel.
Additional Air Force-, Army- and National Police groups are integrated in the fourth, fifth and sixth group respectively.
Finally, the seventh and eighth group will close the parade with motorized and armored units of the Army, Navy, and Air Force, cavalry unit and the ‘Húsares de Junín’.
"Lay Fung", a Rottweiler watchdog that recently bit a presumed car thief to death while doing his job of protecting a parking lot, also participated in the parade as a new member of the National Police’ Canine Division, receiving applause and supporting gestures from the spectators.
The dog was initially not to participate because he was not yet sufficiently trained. “His participation was requested by the public. It would have been very unjust to sacrifice an animal for defending his house”, expressed one of the parade assistants with respect to the popular dog.
(read our previous related article)
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