April 30, 2020 (Google Translation) – Next May 3 will be 782 years since a Navy of the Crown of Castilla, gathered in the Cantabrian and put in command of the Burgos Ramón Bonifaz, rammed the chains that defended the Guadalquivir river and broke the bridge of boats that allowed them to arrive all kinds of aid to Seville, then besieged by Fernando III el Santo. With this action, the siege of the city was completed, which would surrender in a few months.
Almost eight centuries later, today’s modern Navy recognizes that in these events, as well as in those carried out by the Navy of the Crown of Aragon in the Balearic Islands some years before, there is a substantial part of its roots.
The sailors of the 21st century are heirs to the glories of those who have gone before us, serving the Spain that was to be, from the deck of the ships of the crowns of Aragon and Castile. Both crowns demonstrated a deep maritime vocation in the late Middle Ages, Castilla oriented towards the North Sea, the Strait and, later, the Atlantic Ocean; Aragon towards the Mediterranean.
Those of us who serve in the Navy today do not give up considering ourselves, valuing the example and feeling the encouragement of sailors such as Christopher Columbus, Juan Sebastián de Elcano and, even before them, of the two great admirals who did the most to open for Spain the roads of the sea: Roger de Lauria, decisive protagonist of the victories by sea of the Crown of Aragon at the end of the 13th century and, a few decades earlier, Ramón Bonifaz, who took the first steps that would open the coasts of Andalusia for Castilla .
Trying to reinforce these roots, and recognizing the role of history as a cohesion factor of peoples and institutions, the AJEMA has ordered to dedicate one day a year, the Historical Day of the Navy, to the members of the Institution and those who want to accompany us from civil society, let’s look back at the past and remember where we came from.
The sanitary crisis that we are going through prevents us from celebrating this first Historical Day with the acts that we would have liked to program, both internal to the units and to the general public, in memory of the feat of Ramón Bonifaz. However, the Institute of Naval History and Culture has scheduled a conference to be broadcast in “webinar” format through the Navy YouTube channel on May 5 at 11.00.
We invite all seafarers to follow the conference and celebrate this date in the spirit of Article 21 of the Royal Ordinances: “The members of the Armed Forces will feel heirs and depositaries of the Spanish military tradition. The tribute to the heroes who it was forged and to all those who gave their lives for Spain it is a duty of gratitude and a reason for encouragement for the continuation of their work.