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Memorial Day services set throughout county; Events planned in Raton, Springer; veterans memorial hosts annual activities

Memorial Day ceremonies and other activities are planned in Raton, Springer and at Vietnam Veterans Memorial State Park near Angel Fire as veterans who sacrificed their lives at war, as well as those who served their country and returned home, are remembered this weekend. In Raton, the local Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1793 has organized the annual ceremonies at each of the city’s two cemeteries. The Monday ceremony at Mount Calvary Cemetery (on Red River Road just west of South Fifth Street) will begin at 8 a.m. Monday, to be followed by a ceremony at Fairmont Cemetery (on Sugarite Avenue between Washington and East Boulevard streets), expected to begin about 8:45 a.m. The ceremonies are to include presentations from the VFW and its Ladies Auxiliary, American Legion, Disabled American Veterans, Elks Lodge, and United Mine Workers of America.

Following the ceremony at Fairmont Cemetery, the VFW will host a free community breakfast at the post home (106 Park Ave.)

Prior to the ceremonies Monday, volunteers will begin at 6:15 a.m. setting up flags around the Tourist Information Center at South Second Street and Clayton Road. They will then move on to set up more flags on the county building lawn (230 N. Third Street) and nearby in front of city hall (224 Savage Ave.). All volunteers are welcome to help set up the estimated 200 flags, as well as take them down that day at 4 p.m.

In Springer, flags will be placed at the cemetery beginning at 6 a.m. Monday, with a Memorial Day service planned there at 10 a.m. On Saturday, the holiday weekend gets underway with an open house at the Santa Fe Trail Museum (516 Maxwell Ave.) from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Meanwhile, Vietnam Veterans Memorial State Park near Angel Fire will hold its annual Memorial Day activities during the long weekend.

Vietnam veteran and author Jack McLean will present a talk and sign copies of his book, Loon, on Saturday from 4 to 5 p.m. and again Sunday from 2 to 3 p.m. A prisoner of war/missing in action presentation is scheduled for Saturday from 3 to 4 p.m. and Sunday from 1 to 2 p.m. The presentation will provide information from the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command, which has a mission of trying to achieve the fullest possible accounting of all Americans missing as a result of the nations’ past conflicts.

The remaining schedule of events at the memorial:

Sunday: 11 a.m.-noon — Sandra Wasko-Flood, founder of Living Labyrinths for Peace, will discuss the history of the project and how it is used in healing programs for veterans. People will be able to walk a labyrinth nearby; 6-7:30 p.m. — candlelight vigil featuring speakers from veterans organizations.

Monday: 8:30-9 a.m. — Taos Pueblo shows how it pays tribute to its warriors as singers and drum songs will honor veterans; 9-9:30 a.m. — flag march in which volunteers carry a 40-by-60-foot U.S. flag from N.M. 434 and U.S. 64 to the memorial (volunteers can meet at the starting intersection at 8:45 a.m.); 9-11 a.m. — Ride to Pride, a Las Vegas, N.M.-based group, will be on site with a couple horses to talk about equine-assisted therapy programs for veterans and their families; 11 a.m. — Memorial Day ceremony.