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Parades, ceremonies for Veterans Day in NM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A parade of restored military vehicles, ceremonies at the New Mexico Veterans’ Memorial and recognition of a former University of New Mexico soldier who died in Afghanistan are among activities slated for Veterans Day on Friday.

Veterans Day was formerly known as Armistice Day, which celebrated the end of World War I on Nov. 11, 1918. The legal federal holiday, previously held on the fourth Monday in October, reverted to Nov. 11 in 1978. The day is set aside to honor those who served in the U.S. armed forces.

Friday’s parade in Albuquerque, which features a collection of meticulously restored military vehicles, starts at 9 a.m. at USS Bullhead Memorial Park at the southern end of San Pedro SE. It winds through the Raymond G. Murphy Veterans Affairs Medical Center complex and onto Ridgecrest Drive. It then turns east on Gibson Boulevard and north on Louisiana Boulevard, concluding at the veterans’ memorial, 1100 Louisiana SE.

The parade is sponsored by the Roadrunner Convoy of the New Mexico Military Vehicle Preservation Association.

Events at the Veterans Memorial begin at 10 a.m., with music by the Dukes of Albuquerque American Legion Band. There ceremony begins at 11 a.m. Guest speakers include retired New Mexico Air National Guard Brig. Gen. Judy Griego, Denise Rohan, candidate for national commander of the American Legion, and Mayor Richard Berry.

Overflow parking will be at the Kirtland Federal Credit Union at Louisiana and Gibson SE, and free shuttle buses will carry participants to the memorial. Specially equipped vans will be available to shuttle people with disabilities.

Other Veterans Day activities include:

• Unclaimed cremated remains of 22 veterans who, upon their deaths were indigent or went unclaimed by family members, will be laid to rest at a special Forgotten Heroes Funeral at 2:15 p.m. today at the Santa Fe National Cemetery. The public is invited to attend and honor these veterans.

• The village of Corrales will honor veterans with a Veterans Day program and luncheon from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. today at the Recreation Center, 500 Jones Road. The event is open to veterans age 60 and older, and their families.

• The University of New Mexico will honor veterans and active-duty military with a formal flag ceremony at 9 a.m. Friday at the Alumni Memorial Chapel on campus. The name of Washington National Guard Staff Sgt. Matthew Q. McClintock, 30, of Albuquerque, will be added to the memorial wall. McClintock, a former UNM student, died Jan. 5, 2016, in Afghanistan. He was awarded a Silver Star, the military’s third-highest military award for combat.

• Rio Rancho will have its Veterans Day event at 11 a.m. Friday at Veterans Monument Park, located off Southern Boulevard on Pinetree Road and adjacent to Esther Bone Memorial Library.

• The village of Tijeras will host a wreath-laying ceremony at 10 a.m. Friday at the Tijeras Vietnam Veterans Memorial, located just west of the village library on Old Route 66 (State Highway 333.)

• Santa Fe’s Veterans Day parade starts at 10:30 a.m. at Fire Station No. 1 just north of Fort Marcy Park, goes through the Plaza and ends at the Santa Fe Veterans Memorial at the intersection of Montezuma Street and Cerrillos Road. Ceremonies begin there at the conclusion of the parade, with music by the Santa Fe Concert Band. After the ceremonies, the public is invited to attend free luncheons hosted by VFW Post 2951, located at 307 Montezuma St., and American Legion Post 1, located at 1601 Berry Ave.

• The Vietnam Veterans Memorial State Park, located 4 miles north of Angel Fire off U.S. Highway 64, will host a Veterans Day ceremony at 11 a.m. Friday. The keynote speaker will be Col. George Brick, an educator at New Mexico Military Institute in Roswell. The Cimarron High School Band will perform, and the NMMI JROTC Color Guard will present the colors.

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