On Monday, Tucumcari VFW Post 2528 conducted Memorial Day services to honor those who served in the U.S. military.
“We gather here today to remember and honor those who served their country and died for their country,” said Kathleen Lopez, president of the VFW Post 2528 Ladies Auxiliary.
Veteran and city commissioner Robert Lumpkin was the guest presenter at the ceremony held Monday at Tucumcari Memorial Park Cemetery.
“We gather here to give honor to all the military that are heroes,” Lumpkin said.
Often, it’s said that those who died in battle, gave their lives for their country, Lumpkin said. “But, I promise you that they didn't give their lives ... They lost their lives for their brothers and their sisters.
“Life was very, very precious to them,” Lumpkin said.
Until recent years, “I didn't used to talk about brothers and sisters. But now we need to talk about brothers and sisters as heroes.”
In Vietnam alone, there were more than 7,000 women who served. Eight of those women are on the memorial wall in Washington, D.C., Lumpkin said.
In addition, there have been several hundred military women wounded in Iraq. Twenty-five were killed in line of duty, Lumpkin said.
“It didn't used to be that way. Now it’s more evident.
“Their lives are just as precious as anyone else’s.”
Mothers and fathers have also grieved for their sons and daughters lost in war. They, too, need to be appreciated, Lumpkin said.
After teaching their children to eat their vegetables, brush their teeth, "Can you imagine getting a letter," Lumpkin asked.
There has always been a conflict of some sort, Lumpkin said, and those lost in those conflicts are always heroes.
“We remember most of all brothers and sisters, that we miss you,” Lumpkin said.
“There is a saying: ‘All gained, some gained all,’” Lumpkin said. “I personally would like to turn that around, to: ‘All lost some, some lost all.’ Brothers and sisters, I salute you.”