The last Monday of every May is set aside as a day of remembrance for those who have served our country. It was formerly known as Decoration Day, and originated after the Civil War. It originally was a a day set aside to commemorate the Union and Confederate soldiers who lost their lives in the war. In the 20th century, Congress made the day Memorial Day, and it was set aside to honor all soldiers who had lost their lives in the wars.
Citizens of Albuquerque and New Mexico join those across the nation in honoring those who made the ultimate sacrifice. To observe the holiday, many people visit memorial and cemeteries. Volunteers place American flags on grave sites of national cemeteries, and a moment of remembrance takes place at 3 p.m. local time.
Updated for 2016.
Find other activities happening over Memorial weekend.
The New Mexico Veterans' Memorial, Museum, & Conference Center in Albuquerque serves as a reminder to those who have been lost in wars. The museum commemorates and honors those who made the decision to serve, and on Memorial Day there will be a special ceremony. A music prelude starts at 9 a.m., the ceremony at 10 a.m. Parking is crowded so come early, or use the park and ride shuttle services along Gibson and Louisiana at the Kirtland Credit Union and Bank of America.
When: 9 a.m. - 2 p.m., Monday, May 30
Where: 1100 Louisiana SE
Rio Rancho plans a parade and remembrance ceremony for Memorial Day. The parade lineup begins at 9 a.m. The parade begins at 10 a.m. at Country Club Drive, continuing down Southern Boulevard, and ending at the Rio Rancho Veterans Monument Park on Pinetree Road (adjacent to Esther Bone Library).
Following the parade, there will be a remembrance ceremony honoring those who have served. Memorial service at 11 a.m. The ceremony will have several speakers. For more information, contact the Rio Rancho Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department at (505) 891-5015.
When: 10 a.m., Monday, May 25
Where: Veterans Memorial Park, Southern and Pinetree
Pay tribute to the men and women who lost their lives in defense of our country.
When: Monday, May 30
Where: Santa Fe National Cemetery
National Cemetery Memorials in New Mexico
Fort Bayard National Cemetery will have a Memorial Day ceremony beginning at 10 a.m. For more information, contact Ray Davis at (575) 534-0780.
There will be a flag march along US 64 to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial at 9 a.m. on May 30, and ceremonies will take place in the ampitheatre at 11 a.m. Visit the Vietnam Veterans State Park Memorial weekend for other activities. On Sunday, May 29 a Candlelight Vigil takes place at 6 p.m. On Saturday, May 28 at 3 p.m. there will be a flag retirement ceremony.
From colonial times to the present day, New Mexico has served its country. To find out more about New Mexico military history, visit the New Mexico Veterans' Memorial, Museum, & Conference Center's military history page.
New Mexico veterans have access to the New Mexico Department of Veterans Services. There are 18 NMDVS offices located throughout the state. Each has an accredited Veterans Service Officer to assist veterans and their dependents. Veterans officers will help with filing for federal and state benefits.
NMDVS offices can be found in:
- Albuquerque (one office downtown, one in the northeast heights)
- Las Cruces
- Las Vegas
- Los Lunas
- Santa Fe
- Silver City
Facts and Figures on New Mexico Veterans
The veteran population of New Mexico is 170,132, or about 8.2 percent of the population. They have served in wars that include WWII, the Korean War, Vietnam, the Gulf War and Post 9/11. Nearly 17,000 of the state's veterans are women.