Background: The informant was told this legend by his grandfather.
DO: Ok so from what I recall they were basically the child heroes who were stationed at Chapultepec castle to defend it from invaders, and they successfully repelled the invaders at the cost of their lives, and are honored on the back of some Mexican currency. and I heard it from my grandpa when I was young and it was one of the first like times the concept of martyrdom was introduced to me indirectly. They were all slain but the last one wrapped themselves in the Mexican flag to prevent it from falling into enemy hands. I don’t think they actually won but they defended the castle to the very end. Like we know who the winner of the Mexican-American war was. but yeah it’s like a whole not-legend-cuz-it’s-fairly-real type legend. Honor their sacrifice for defending their country until the very end type deal. Slightly fuzzy but yeah that’s what I remember.
Many times, stories about real people would be commemorated and become a part of the larger culture and serve as a source of unity. This is such a legend created from very real events. As I have spent my own childhood hearing stories about Chinese heroes and people who defended and served the country, I sometimes can’t help but feel conflicted by stories of martyrdom and fighting for one’s nation. Though the stories I grew up with mostly served as a way to indoctrinate children into the ideals supported by the Chinese government, I feel that this is very different. Mostly in the sense that the stories I heard came from schools and government supervised media, while this one came from the Informant’s family members. Overall, it is a praiseworthy story that would solidify one’s identity and values especially given the context of the Mexican-American war.