March 8, 2019 (Google Translation) – On March 2, during her stopover in the Colombian city of Cartagena de Indias, the crew and midshipmen of the School Ship “Juan Sebastián de Elcano” participated in a tribute to the distinguished Spanish sailor, Lieutenant General D. Blas de Lezo and Olavarrieta.
In the same scenario in which one of the most glorious pages in the history of Spain was written, an event took place that included the presence, on the Spanish side, of the Ambassador of Spain in the Republic of Colombia D. Pablo Gómez de Olea Bustinza , the Secretary of the Commission for the celebration of the V centenary of the first circumnavigation of the world, Vice Admiral Ignacio Horcada Rubio, and the Commander of the Vessel School captain Ignacio Paz García. On the Colombian side, the Director of the Naval Academy of Cadets “Almirante Padilla”, Rear Admiral Francisco Hernando Cubides Granados, participated.
The act was held jointly with the Navy of the Republic of Colombia (ARC), stating, in addition to respect for the great hero and the soldiers and sailors who fought at his command, the union, respect and camaraderie between the two armed and between both countries.
The historical review read during the tribute collected, among other ideas, the following:
“In defense of the honor of Spain, he imposed his law on the seas and left shreds of his body fighting for his King and his Flag. Unbeaten always in the battles, his exploits created fame and the story of all of them would exceed the time of a ceremony like the one that brings us together …
But it was here, in the waters and before the walls of Cartagena, where Destiny wanted Blas de Lezo to sign his impeccable record with an immortal deed …
… and today their example is still alive in the memory and serves as a stimulus for those of us who have a duty to serve Spain and Colombia, to know how to do it with the same courage, loyalty and generosity as those who preceded us. ”
The act, simple, military and very emotional, had the participation, in addition to the midshipmen and cadets, of the music units of both armed and a squad of pipers of the ARC. At the beginning, the national anthems of both countries were performed, and before their completion the hymns of both navies were sung.
The central part was the sum of the most solemn of both maritime ceremonies, with the minute of silence of the ARC interpreted by its pipers unit, and the offering of the crown at the foot of the statue of Blas de Lezo while singing ” Death is not the end “, which was concluded with the rifle salvo in charge of the spenders of” Juan Sebastián de Elcano “.