Bones believed to be remains of Mexican independence heroes removed from crypt for exams

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In a somber military ceremony, President Felipe Calderon of Mexico escorted skulls and bones believed to be the 200-year-old remains of 12 independence heroes from downtown crypts to a historic hilltop castle where they will be examined for authenticity.

The remains, deposited in crypts under the landmark Angel of Independence statue in 1925, were removed Sunday morning by gloved soldiers carrying five ornate gold and wooden boxes. Several skulls were visible through the boxes' glass siding.

Bands played, choirs sang and thousands of citizens threw white flowers as the boxes were paraded several miles (kilometers) through the city's center, accompanied by more than a thousand cadets and soldiers and dozens of horses parading in regalia.

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