By Casey Peacock: Freedom New Mexico
Two years of work is coming to fruition with the soon to be dedication of a Wall of Honor that recognizes Eastern New Mexico University students who have served in the armed forces.
The dedication will take place at 11 a.m. Monday on the ENMU campus near the existing Veterans Memorial flagpole.
“The main reason (for the wall of honor) is to show our support for ENMU students who go out and fight,” said Tonya Hale, student director of Nontraditional Student Education Services at ENMU. “I don’t think our men and women are recognized enough as having a life outside the military.”
Struggles and setbacks have caused the project to take some time before it came to life. Regrouping and compromise led those involved to finally get to the stage where the wall can now be dedicated, said Esthela Banuelos, advisor to the NSES office.
“One of the struggles we had on our part was that expectations and planning were too big at times,” Banuelos said.
The Wall of Honor will be displayed downstairs in the Campus Union Building in a public area. Names and information of those students that have served in the armed forces will be engraved on a brass nameplate and displayed in a case that hangs on the wall, Banuelos said.
“It’s not just a memorial, it’s a dedication to living students,” Banuelos said. “It’s for all the veterans at Eastern, past and present.”
There are 82 names that will be displayed on the wall. The names have been submitted to the NSES office by friends and relatives. As the names are received, the wall will be updated each semester, Banuelos said.
“It’s going to be an ongoing project for the NSES office,” Banuelos said.
The Veterans Day program at ENMU will also feature the Cannon Air Force Base Color Guard and a speech by Jim Spiri, a combat photographer and a Portales native who has served in the military and is now attending school at Eastern, Banuelos said.
Nominating a service member
To submit a name for the wall, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please include the following information:
Name of the nominee as they wish it to appear on the plaque
Military branch they served in
Dates of military service
Dates that the nominee attended ENMU as a student
For more information, contact NSES at 562-2434.