President Juan Manuel Santos thanked Colombia’s Armed Forces Friday in honor of the country’s 202nd Independence Day.

“The freedom that we have today, we owe to these soldiers, these sailors, these pilots, these policemen,” Santos said, standing at the head of a military parade on San Andres Island, located 750km off of the Colombian mainland.

Santos thanked the troops on behalf of 47 million Colombians. “What pride I have, as head of the Republic, to also be your commander in chief,” he added.

The military parade was originally scheduled for Popayan, the historic capital of the southwestern department of Cauca, but was moved to San Andres earlier this week.

Colombia gained its independence on July 20, 1810, when patriots stormed the Spanish viceroy’s palace in Bogota and forced him to allow for limited independence.

From Colombia Reports