Tuesday, October 30, 2007
The Soldiers at the Battle of Boquerón 1932
We go back in time to recognize Bolivia's heroes.
The Bolivian and Paraguayan armies were locked in a war in the early 1930's which did neither country any good. They squabbled over land rights and petroleum. One of the famous battles in the war was fought at a garrison in a place called Boquerón. The Bolivian soldiers were outnumbered 20 to 1 in an epic 3 week siege. Many died. The rest only surrendered when their food, ammunition, and water supplies were exhausted. It may have been wiser to organize a tactical retreat in the face of overwhelming odds. Perhaps they needed to buy time for other divisions to regroup. Military historians will have to sort that one out. The Bolivian soldiers perservered and fought to the end. The Paraguayans, amazed at the fighting spirit of the Bolivians, paid tribute to their bravery.
Bolivian soldiers stayed, fought and died in Boquerón. Did they die in vain? That's not the point, especially for those who lost their lives. True bravery does not weigh the pros and the cons of a particular course of action nor does it measure the pragmatic gains of one's sacrifice. Bravery is the immeasurable moral strength to to fight and struggle against overwhelming odds.
Those brave soldiers at Boquerón are my Bolivian heroes.