- The Washington Times - Monday, September 13, 2004

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Warning: If a co-worker or stranger suddenly jumps up and starts singing tomorrow, don’t be alarmed. They aren’t crazy. They are just Mexicans participating in a worldwide call-to-song to celebrate 150 years of their national anthem.

An ad campaign is calling on all Mexicans — wherever they are — to stop what they are doing at 1 p.m. EDT, the eve of Mexico’s Independence Day, and sing the rousing ode to war and country.

Although the campaign is aimed primarily at celebrating the anthem, it has another motive: uniting a country increasingly divided by issues ranging from politics to crime.

“There is a crisis of dishonesty, fragmentation, crime,” said Erwin Salas Juarez, a spokesman for the nonprofit council organizing the campaign. “We have to unite society.”

Organizers hope that offices will grind to a halt in the capital, Mexicans visiting the Eiffel Tower will stop taking photos, and farmers will look up from their fields to join in the anthem’s first words: “Mexicans, at the cry of battle prepare your swords and bridle; and let the earth tremble at its center at the roar of the cannon.”

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