‘Ride of Remembrance’ symbolizes goodwill between nations
While Mexican riders on horseback enter the United States Border at Puerto Palomas, Chih. MX, a cavalcade of American riders will embark on a 20-mile trek to meet the Cabalgata (Cavalry) in Columbus to officially signal the start of the 19th annual Fiesta de Amistad on Saturday, March 9, 2018 The “Ride of Remembrance” is expected to promote goodwill and friendship and has been labeled the Cabalgata Binacional (Bi-national Cavalry) in an effort to show that two nations that were rivals during a border raid 102 years ago can now live in peace and harmony along that border.
The Columbus Chamber of Commerce has taken the lead reins for the Cabalgata and have given it international attention on both side of the border.
Camp Furlong Day honors the strong ties between Mexico and the United States
Raid on the village of Columbus, NM
On March 9, 1916, Mexican General Francisco “Pancho” Villa and an estimated 400 of his revolutionaries executed a pre-dawn raid on the village of Columbus, NM. During the raid, nearly half the town was burned to the ground and 18 villagers were killed, including eight U.S. Army soldiers.
U.S. Army soldiers of the 13th Cavalry based near the village at Camp Furlong responded to Villa’s attack with gunfire. Two hours later, as day broke, downtown Columbus was left a smoldering ruin and when the smoke cleared, 18 Americans (10 civilians and eight soldiers) lay dead.
The Commercial Hotel and other businesses were totally destroyed, and an estimated 100 to 200 of Villa’s men had been killed.
First attack by a foreign power on the continental United States
Villa’s attack is unique in American history. It marks the first attack by a foreign power on the continental United States in the modern era and the last true cavalry operation mounted by the U.S. Army. It was the first U.S. military action using mechanized vehicles and airplanes as the First Aero Squadron flew its first mission. Since then, Columbus has been called the “Cradle of U.S. Military Aviation.”
Army General John “Black Jack” Pershing led a punitive expedition along the border and chased Villa into Mexico from 1916-1917. He was never caught.