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Memorial Day events honor America’s fallen warriors

RIO RANCHO, N.M. — America’s fallen warriors will be honored at events in and around Albuquerque on Memorial Day.

Formerly known as Decoration Day, Memorial Day commemorates U.S. service members who have died while serving in the military.


The United Veterans Council will host a Memorial Day commemoration beginning at 9 a.m. Monday at the New Mexico Veterans’ Memorial, 1100 Louisiana SE, with music by the Dukes of Albuquerque from American Legion Post 99.

Ceremonies, with an emphasis on the 36,516 U.S. casualties of the Korean war, begin at 10 a.m. and are scheduled to conclude at noon.

Speakers include: Col. Steven Ver Helst, assistant adjutant general for the New Mexico Air National Guard; Medal of Honor recipient Hiroshi “Hershey” Miyamura of Gallup, who was honored for his heroism during the Korean war; and Mayor Richard Berry. Events include performances of patriotic music, the parade of state flags by Kirtland Air Force Base, a fallen warrior tribute and a rifle salute. The Roadrunner Convoy of the New Mexico Military Vehicle Preservation Association will perform a cannon volley.

Individual honors will be afforded a trio of servicemen with ties to New Mexico. They are:

• Air Force Capt. Jeremy Fresques, 26, of Clarkdale, Ariz., who died on Memorial Day 2005 in the crash of an Iraqi Air Force surveillance aircraft in Diyala province, Iraq. Fresques was a 1997 graduate of Farmington High School and Bronze Star recipient.

• Army Sgt. Brian J. Pedro, 27, of Rosamond, Calif., who died Oct. 3, 2010, in a firefight in Pol-e-Khumri, Afghanistan. Pedro, a Bronze Star recipient, was assigned to the 2nd Engineer Battalion at White Sands Missile Range.

• Army Spc. Nathan B. Carse, 32, of Harrod, Ohio, who died Feb. 8, 2011, in Kandahar province, Afghanistan. Carse, a recipient of the Bronze Star, was assigned to the 2nd Engineer Battalion, 176th Engineer Brigade at White Sands Missile Range.

French Funeral and Cremation Services will host Memorial Day events from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday at Sunset Memorial Park, 924 Menaul NE.

Col. Steven B. Reese, commander of the 377th Medical Group at Kirtland Air Force Base, will deliver a keynote address at 11 a.m. Cadets from Bataan Military Academy will render a salute to veterans’ grave sites.


The city of Rio Rancho will observe Memorial Day with a parade and remembrance ceremony. The parade will start at 10 a.m. Monday, heading east from Country Club Drive down Southern Boulevard, and end at the Veterans Monument Park on Pinetree Road adjacent to the Esther Bone Memorial Library.

Immediately after the parade, a remembrance ceremony for fallen service members will take place at the Veterans Monument Park. For more information, call the city’s Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department at 891-5015 or see the city website,