Friday, October 13, 2017
The celebration has been tarnished by one of the Eurofighter pilots' death that participated at the air-parade
"Inmemorial del Rey" parading in front of the Tribune (Photo:Iván Jiménez/DECET)
Protected Patrols from Iraq and Afganistan (Photo:Iván Jiménez/DECET)
Tribute to the Tercios in their 450th anniversary (Photo: Iván Jiménez/DECET)
Punctual in its date, at 11 am, with Their Majesties' arrival Mr. Felipe and Ms. Letizia and their Royal Highnesses Pricess of Asturias and Infant Sofía, the commemorative acts started the 12th of October, Spain's National Day. The parade has had as epicentre the so-called Plaza de Lima in Madrid, and it has been characterized by all the ovations given to Spain and to the King by the attending public.
Royal Guard's Honours Batallion paid tribute to the King, who, after listening to the corresponding 21 salutes, inspected the three companies' troops of the Royal Guard's Honours Batallion, and took his place in the principal tribune, next to the Presindent of the Goverment, the Minister of Defense and other civil and military authorities.
Afterwards, the Flag arrived, being brought by two components of the Air Forces' Paratrooper Patrol, ready for its hoisting right after its arrival.
This year has been special due to the tribute paid to those who gave their lifes for Spain, including a recognition to the civil people that lost their lifes in terrorist attacks. For that reason, there was a special tribute to those who died in the terrorist attacks of Barcelona and Cambrils, as well as to the Spanish Ignacio Echeverría, killed by the terrorists from DAESH when he was trying to help another person. Together with Echevarría's mother, representatives from associations of terrorism victims attended the act, representing all the victims who died in Cataluña. Nine ambassadors from the nine countries that also suffered victims because of the attacks, also were present in the ceremony.
78 airplanes, both planes and helicopters from the whole Spanish geography, took Madrid's sky, shocking thousands of people with their parade. Among them, 12 helicopters were from the Spanish Army's Air-Mobile Forces (Tiger, Cougar, NH-90, EC-135 and Chinook).
The land parade started from Plaza de Castilla to Plaza de San Juan (going through Nuevos Ministerios' gardens). In this march, around 4000 soldiers and 84 vehicles participated. The column started with a motorised unit that, in order to get Spanish people closer to those soldiers that were in missions abroad, brough vehicles from the protected patrols from Iraq and Afganistan, and from the light ones in Lebanon and Mali. The latest innovation was the participation of the National Police, that has not participated since the 80s; with this event, the parade was opened the 12th of October to all the Security State's Forces and Corps.
At the parade on foot, apart from being attended by Cadets from different academies of the Armed Forces and the Civil Guard, there was another innovation: a commemorative unit for the 450th anniversary of Camino Español, performed with customes and weapons from that time; paratroopers, anti-aircraft artillery soldiers, skier-climbers, members of Special Operations, the 12th Brigade or "Inmemorial del Rey", and a long number of units closed by the legionnaires, regulars, and units on horseback from the Royal and the Civil Guards. One fundamental place has been taken by the Lebanese Flag, in order to thank the solidarity that the Lebanese Army shown with the victims of the terrorist attacks in Barcelona and Cambrils, when they decided to host the Spanish and Lebanese Flags together at Mkhayrme, after taking back part of the territory of Ras Baalbek previously taken by DAESH.
After the parade, the development of the events was dyed of mourning when one pilot from the Air Forces died when he was coming back to the military base "De Los Llanos" in Albacete. The details of the Eurofighter pilot's accident at the base are unknown. After knowing this tragic event, the President of Goverment, Mariano Rajoy, as well as the Minister of Defense, María Dolores de Cospedal, moved to Albacete to offer pilot's family and friends their condolences.