Cinco de Mayo is a widely celebrated holiday both in Mexico and the United States. It commemorates not Mexico's Independence Day, which is September 16th, but the Battle of Puebla in 1862. The "Fifth of May" symbolizes the Mexican's peoples courage under the direction of General Zaragoza in a struggle against French leader Napoleon III (nephew of Napoleon Bonaparte.) More than seven thousand of his Frenchmen invaded and marched on Mexico City in an attempt to establish a monarchy for their leader. They were met however by Zaragoza's small army of two thousand who defeated the French, despite the poor odds against them. Though this did not ultimately end the war, nor prevent Mexico's occupation, Cinco de Mayo remains a symbol of the Mexican people's victory. It is now a national holiday, and the battlefield holds a statue of General Zaragoza riding horseback in the park established there to honor him.