Members of the National Guard attend the Mexico's Independence Day military parade in Mexico City, capital of Mexico, Sept. 16, 2019. (Photo by Francisco Canedo/Xinhua)
MEXICO CITY, Sept. 16 (Xinhua) -- More than 12,500 soldiers, marines and National Guards took part in a military parade here on Monday to celebrate Mexico's Independence Day.
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador presided over the parade from the central balcony of the National Palace that overlooks the capital's main square, where tens of thousands of onlookers gathered.
It was the first military parade in his presidential term.
Lopez Obrador, flanked by his wife and top military aides, inspected 24 blocks of troops passing by the square. Eight military planes flew overhead in formation. 15 parachutists descended onto the square and landed in front of the National Palace.
Then, a contingent of the newly-formed National Guard, which made history by taking part in a military parade for the first time, came in following an outsize Mexican flag.
Lopez Obrador's administration formed the National Guard this year in a bid to establish a security force untainted by corruption to tackle rising level of crimes.
The parade, which marked the 209th anniversary of Mexico's independence from Spanish rule in 1810, closed with 20 planes flying in formation and leaving a trail of smoke above the square.
A total of 74 military aircraft, some 135 representatives from the National Guard or similar foreign organizations, as well as rescue teams from Mexican civil agencies took part in the parade.
According to Mexico City's police department, the parade drew some 400,000 people who lined the parade route leading to the main plaza.