Mexico City – The remains of 14 independence heroes were returned over the weekend to the mausoleum at Mexico City's Independence Column after 14 months of study, conservation work and display at the National Palace.
The remains were returned on Saturday to the mausoleum with highest military honors in a procession from the National Palace to the Independence Monument.
Hundreds of people watched the procession, which lasted more than two hours and took place in a light rain.
Mexican flags lined the route of the procession and white carnations were scattered on the ground.
Mounted military academy cadets, 11 military vehicles and a military band escorted the 13 urns, 10 of which contained individual remains and three of which held mixed remains.
One of the crystal urns held the skulls of Miguel Hidalgo, considered "The Father of the Homeland," Ignacio Allende, Juan Aldama and Mariano Jimenez, whose heads were removed and exhibited at the Alhondiga de Granaditas.
The heroes' remains were removed from the Independence Column on May 30, 2010, so they could be studied and treated by preservationists.
Nine urns containing the remains of Miguel Hidalgo, Ignacio Allende, Juan Aldama, Jose Maria Morelos, Mariano Matamoros, Mariano Jimenez, Xavier Mina, Vicente Guerrero, Leona Vicario, Andres Quintana Roo, Nicolas Bravo and Guadalupe Victoria were removed from the column.
The remains of independence heroes Pedro Moreno and Victor Rosales, whose location had not been known since 1925, were found in the mausoleum.
The independence heroes "taught us that nothing is impossible when Mexicans unite their wills," President Felipe Calderon said.
"Let all of us Mexicans unite so that we can build a future at the level of our dignity, of our desires and of our history," Calderon said.
The remains were studied at Chapultepec Castle, where they were kept for a month under controlled humidity to stabilize them.
The heroes' remains were exhibited from September 2010 until last month at the National Gallery as part of Mexico's bicentennial celebration and the centennial celebration of the 1910 Mexican Revolution.
The mausoleum underwent maintenance and modern conservation and security systems were installed, the National Institute of Archaeology and History, or INAH, said.