Friday, May 22, 2009

Memorial Day will be Observed Statewide with Numerous Ceremonies.

No matter where you live in New Mexico, there will be an event this weekend where you can go to observe Memorial Day--ranging from quaint small-town events to big parades.

Memorial Day is the day to honor and remember the men and women who’ve lost their lives while serving in the military. It falls on the last Monday in May and was first observed in 1865 to honor fallen Union soldiers of the Civil War, when it was known as “Decoration Day.”

It became commonly known as Memorial Day in 1882. But it took until 1967 before the U.S. Congress officially declared the day be known as Memorial Day.

To many Americans, it also signals the unofficial beginning of Summer, something which irritates many others like New Mexico Department of Veterans’ Services Cabinet Secretary John M. Garcia--who fear the true meaning of the day has now been lost.

“Memorial Day should be more than just the arrival of warm weather,” said Garcia. “I wish more people would also take time to remember to honor our fallen heroes who’ve paid the ultimate sacrifice. Freedom isn’t free. If it weren’t for them we wouldn’t be enjoying this three-day weekend and the freedoms we enjoy as Americans.”

Garcia will be serving as Grand Marshall at the “Fly Freedoms Flag” ceremony and parade this Saturday at Elephant Butte Lake State Park.

The presentation of flags begins at 10am, followed by a POW/MIA service. Secretary Garcia will then board the lead boat at noon for the parade, which will also feature the tossing of Memorial Wreaths into the water. Hundreds of boaters are expected to participate.

Listing of Memorial Day Activities Statewide:

Alamogordo (Monday)
10am ceremony at the Monte Vista cemetery.
1130am ceremony at the Catholic cemetery

Albuquerque (Monday)
10am Ceremony at Veterans’ Memorial Park. Theme is
“Honoring WWII Vets”
7pm Candlelight Vigil at Veterans’
Memorial Park

Angel Fire (Monday)
9am Ceremony
& Flag March to the Vietnam Memorial State Park

Carlsbad (Monday)
9am Parade & Ceremony at the Eddy County

Clovis (Monday)
10am Ceremony at Lawn
Haven Garden of Honor. “Fly-by” by Cannon AFB squad

Ft. Bayard (Monday)
10am Ceremony & Fly-over at the Ft. Bayard National

Ft. Stanton (Saturday)
11am Ceremony at
the Ft. Stanton National Cemetery

Gallup (Monday)
7am Sunrise Service at the Hillcrest
9am Ceremony & parade at the Hillcrest Cemetery. Parade
ends at Veterans’ Memorial Park

Hobbs (Monday)
9am Ceremony at the Prairie Haven

Las Cruces (Monday)
Garrison Flag Raising/Lowering at Veterans’ Memorial

Questa (Sunday)
1pm “Healing Field of Honor”
ceremony. Lt. Governor Denish and Treasurer James Lewis will attend

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