Veterans memorialize fallen service members

QCS photo: Steven Hansen

VFW Post 2528 Commander Fred Porter speaks at Monday's Memorial Day service at Tucumcari's cemetery.

Tucumcari's Delfido Gonzales VFW Post 2528 conducted a solemn tribute on Monday morning, Memorial Day, to honor soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines who lost their lives in defense of their country.

Led by Chapter Commander Fred Porter, a Vietnam veteran who served with the U.S. Army Special Forces, the ceremony included short speeches, prayers, laying of an honorary wreath and other tokens of appreciation at Tucumcari Municipal Cemetery's veterans' memorial. An American flag flown at half-mast over the cemetery's veterans memorial commanded the view of participants and viewers.

Ron Wilmot, representing U.S. Rep. Ben Ray Lujan, delivered a short statement from the congressman that honored service members, living and dead, who served in the Armed Forces, as well as their families.

"Their service reminds us that while we honor our nation's heroes, we must also pay tribute to the families — husbands, wives, children, and parents – who share their loved ones with their country," Lujan's statement read. "We must remember that when our servicemen and women are deployed, so too are their families, and it is our responsibility as a community to look out for them and lend a helping hand."

Rudy Apodaca, a Korean War veteran of the U.S. Navy, served as chaplain.

QCS photo: Steven Hansen

From left, Mareen Hendrickson, president of the Tucumcari VFW Post2528 Ladies' Auxiliary; Tucumcari City Commissioner and VFW member Robert Lumpkin, a Marine Vietnam veteran; VFW Post Vice Commander Rosendo Martinez, a Navy Vietnam veteran; VFW Post Quartermaster/Adjutant Mucio Lopez, an Army retiree of the Vietnam era; VFW Post Chaplain Rudy Apodaca, a Navy Korean War veteran; and VFW Post Commander Fred Porter, an Army Vietnam veteran.

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