Welcome, everyone, to the first of two days of regional history that many will recall far into the distant decades of our lives.
Welcome to the members of the Base Realignment and Closure Commission and their staff. You are the leading players in a unique ritual of freedom: a national hearing conducted in Marshall Junior High School’s auditorium in Clovis that is sure to impact U.S. military policy and the region’s economy for untold years and decades.
This Friday’s events are, at their core, democracy in action — vocal and logical, occasionally not so logical, and passionate and enthusiastic, exciting and nerve-wracking.
And they deserve a full house of witnesses in the auditorium, and a boisterous crowd of supporters waving banners, signs and flags along the parade route on North Prince Street and Commerce Way. Sure, it’s easy to view everything on TV, but if you can take a little time from work and support the efforts in person, do so. History isn’t the same from a chair at home or in the office.
More than 10,000 people have reportedly turned out at some hearing sites so far. We’d like to see the same sort of support in Clovis.
Is it possible? Why not? An estimated 10,000 letters of support reportedly have been sent to the BRAC Commission from this area — the most in the country. Let’s continue that fine support in person.
From today’s site visit of Cannon Air Force Base and Friday morning’s hearing on Cannon’s future, the BRAC commissioners and staff will learn why Cannon Air Force Base should be taken off the BRAC closure list. We believe the military value and economic impact data that will be presented will refute the Air Force and Department of Defense’s May 13 BRAC closure listing of Cannon.
Welcome, too, to our White Sands and Alamogordo and Arizona and Nevada visitors as you prepare your remarks to the commissioners on the BRAC impacts to your facilities. Please join the New Mexicans and Texans who will line the parade route Friday morning and fill the seats of Marshall Auditorium and four other nearby venues.
Together we make history, remember. Together we keep Cannon.