By Tony Parra
The theme of this week in Roosevelt County is in honor of the veterans who served in the United States military and many will take time to recognize them.
The Native American Affairs department of Eastern New Mexico University will be presenting an ENMU Veteran’s Memorial Dedication at 12:15 p.m. on Thursday next to the Veteran’s Memorial statue. The statue is located by the flag poles in front of the Dallan Sanders Plaza.
Utahna Livingston, the director of the Native American Affairs department, said Miss Native American Dailauna Robertson will sing the National Anthem in Navajo. Randy Burgess, a Marine for 10 years and a current ENMU student, will be the guest speaker for the event. There will be pow-wow honor songs by Native Connections and Native American Pow-wow dancers will perform after the guest speaker.
“We’ve been holding memorials for veterans each year,” Livingston said. “It’s in recognition of the veterans and the Native Americans who served. The veterans protected and fought for our freedom. We wanted to incorporate a part of us in the memorial.”
Livingston said her grandfather and uncles served in the military. She said she has heard stories from some of her friends who were in Iraq. Livingston said they live in fear that the next day in Iraq may be their last.
Lindsey Middle School students will treat veterans to a meal and a program beginning at 12:10 p.m. today. The Lindsey Middle School choir will sing for the veterans during the program.
Valencia Elementary is also having an event today. Veterans are invited to a music program at 10 a.m., followed by lunch.
James Elementary staff and students will have a veteran’s meal on Friday from 11 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.
Some of the schools have already had meals for the veterans. Brown Elementary had their meal for their veterans on Oct. 1 while Steiner Elementary had their meal for the veterans on Monday.
Elida High School principal Donna Tivis said there are many activities and events organized to recognize the veterans on Thursday.
“The program will include all of the kids from K-12,” Tivis said. “The eighth-graders have been working on a project for two weeks to recognize the veterans. They will have a presentation on a veteran they have chosen. Many of the veterans are from the Elida area.”
Tivis said there will be a meal at noon and the program will follow at 12:30 p.m. According to Tivis, National Honor Society students will be serving the veterans who attend. Tivis said the program will last approximately one hour. She said the event is open to all veterans.
Floyd principal Chris Duncan said there will be a “Salute to Veterans” program for veterans at 6:30 p.m. on Friday at the Floyd High School gym. Duncan said some of the students will read the essays they entered in the VFW contest.
Dora High School principal Steve Barron said there is nothing planned for Thursday, but any veterans interested in eating a meal in the Dora schools cafeteria can do so at noon on Thursday.
Tim Marsh of the Portales Veterans of Foreign Wars post said members of the VFW will be placing flags on the graves of those who served in the U.S. military at the Portales cemetery. Marsh said those who are interested in placing flags can meet at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday at the Portales cemetery.