Residents pay respects to war dead

A wreath is set in place to honor those who died in combat. (Staff photo: Andy DeLisle)

Bryant Million: Freedom Newspapers

The Curry/Roosevelt Joint Veterans Council held a Memorial Day ceremony Monday morning at Mission Garden of Memories in Clovis to honor those who died defending the United States.

Sgt. Eugene Von Bon of Cannon Air Force Base started the ceremony by welcoming the crowd and introduced each member of the Joint Veterans Council holding a flag as they stood in line.

“It’s only fitting that we come out here and sacrifice our time because it is a constant reminder to us that without the men and women in uniform our freedoms would not be protected,” Von Bon, said. “It’s important because every flower on a headstone out there is someone not going to a barbecue today.”

Emily Dropps of the Clovis High School Choir sang the national anthem, followed by Cub Scout Troop 401 and Girl Scout Troop 90015 leading the crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance.

Von Bon read Governor Bill Richardson’s proclamation for Memorial Day.

The guest speaker was Col. Margaret Pore of Cannon Air Force Base who told how Memorial Day originated and wanted to thank those who lost their lives for America and to honor them for their service. Pore said military members in her family go back five generations yet she was fortunate enough to only lose one family member in combat.

Pore and Ali Edwards of the Girl Scouts then laid the wreath on the Memorial Day monument.

The Cannon Air Force Base Honor Guard provided a 3-volley salute followed by the playing of “Taps.”

John Fondrick of the New Mexico Department of Veterans Services concluded the ceremony by raising the United States flag.

“We are here to remember the veterans, and we need to teach our children that Memorial Day is more than just barbecues and a day off,” Fondrick said.