Keep the Fiesta Soldado Tradition

Regarding your article on August 16, “Longtime Fiesta Soldados Given Boot,” it is my belief that there is a cabal afoot. They’ve secretly tried to eliminate the soldados tradition of 30 years to participate in Fiesta Pequeña.

The article also states that Old Spanish Days hired Iris Engstrand, a retired history professor at the University of San Diego. She claims there is no record in historical documents “of the Soldados standing guard at the Mission church” and continued by saying, “Apparently, those who attended mass did not need to be watched.”

The orders of Spain’s Visitor-General Don José de Gálvez to Governor Don Gaspar de Portolá in 1769, and expeditions under Colonel Juan Bautista de Anza (1776), and Governor Felipe de Neve’s enterprise to colonize the Santa Bárbara Channel in 1782 were that each mission, which was in actuality a part of the king’s realm, be assigned a complement of six soldiers as a guard and all of which was confirmed by the father president of the Missions, Junipero Serra, and his superiors.

In the story’s photograph, Corporal Marc Martinez is carrying the Spanish flag to honor its part in the colonizing of California and the American Revolution in 1776. Soldado Egeberg carries our national colors, which guarantees us our rights, including the right to assemble!

It is very clear to me that these two soldiers’ right to assemble has been seriously violated by pressuring them to step down.


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