Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Spanish air force planes and helicopters flew in formation across Madrid for the annual Oct. 12 national holiday, this year marked by cutbacks.

Thousands of people lined the sidewalks to watch Tuesday's military procession of troops and tanks held to celebrate Hispanic Day. It commemorates Christopher Columbus' arrival in the New World and is also armed forces day.

Some 3,000 Spanish soldiers took part in the parade presided over by TM King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia down the city's Paseo de la Castellana - 1,000 fewer than last year.

Spain's economic crisis over the past two years has seen the parade reduced in size by some 20 percent. Air force jets flying overhead spewed out plumes of red and yellow smoke in the shape of the Spanish flag.

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