Honoring ‘selfless devotion’ at Santa Fe’s Veterans Day parade
Crowds gathered in Santa Fe on Sunday in sleet and snow to honor veterans as they passed by in a parade commemorating Veterans Day and the 100th anniversary of the armistice that ended World War I.
Girl Scouts lined the street, waving flags. Veterans and law enforcement and city government officials tossed candy to children, drove classic cars through downtown and walked along a parade route to show support for the armed foreces.
And at the Bataan Memorial Building, politicians and state military representatives gathered to offer thanks to New Mexico’s vets.
“The veterans here today have served this country with selfless devotion,” said U.S. Sen. Tom Udall. “You stepped up to protect all that makes our nation great: Our democratic ideals, our freedom of speech, religion and press, and our commitment to equality no matter your race, creed or color, no matter your gender who you love or your ability or disability.”
He gave a special thanks to the late U.S. Sen. John McCain, an Arizona Republican and Navy pilot who spent years in a North Vietnamese prison camp after being shot down during the Vietnam War, to enthusiastic applause from the crowd.
Among the hundreds gathered to hear Udall and others speak was Carlos Ortiz, a Santa Fe native who served in the Army during the Vietnam War.
“It’s kind of a time to reflect back on your time in the service,” Ortiz said, shaking the hands of veterans and friends who passed by him in the hallway. “A lot of lessons learned when I was in the service. It’s good to reflect on that.”