A day of honor

Cool, wet weather kept the crowds away, but patriotism showed up in full uniform for Clovis’ annual Veterans Day parade on Saturday. Freedom Newspapers: Lisa Sonnenschien

By Darrell Todd Maurina

Although turnout was light along sidewalks on Main Street for the Veterans Day parade in Clovis on Saturday morning, the light drizzle didn’t dampen the spirits of those who turned out to support area veterans.
“It’s a shame it has been so wet and nasty, they deserve a bright sunny day,” said Shirley Smith of Clovis, whose husband Jim Smith spent nine years in the military. “It’s a great thing to come out and see. Everyone should honor our veterans.”
Bill Sheridan, a retired Eastern New Mexico University professor, said he’s been coming to these parades each year for nearly four decades. As a Korean War veteran, he said he wants to support those who fought in past wars. He wore a “United We Stand” hat to encourage those fighting in the war against terrorism.
“Having been in the military, I understand it is a great honor to serve in the military,” Sheridan said. “I salute anybody in the military today.”
The parade was led by a color guard of local veterans and included marching units from various veterans’ organizations. Other participants included airmen from the Cannon Youth Sports Program, Boy Scout and Girl Scout organizations from Clovis and Portales, the Clovis High School Marching Band, and other groups including the New Horizons 4H group on horseback.
Sheridan said he was glad to see so many young people in the parade.
“It’s good to see all the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts out here. I didn’t know we had so many of them,” Sheridan said.
Michael Nicholes of the Portales Cub Scout pack said he enjoyed the opportunity to march.
“I love the parade because it’s fun and you can feel pride in what you do — duty, honor and service,” Nicholes said.
Ben Rice, also from the Portales pack, said he enjoyed the opportunity to march with other organizations sharing a common commitment.
“I love being here because it’s fun and it lets us know we are somebody in the world,” Rice said. “We have a purpose.”
Capt. Mark Martinez of the Clovis National Guard unit was one of a number of current service members who turned out to support the event, and was asked to serve as a judge for the marching units. Martinez serves as commander of a unit that once went through the Bataan Death March in World War II. He said his unit’s history gives him an added appreciation for the importance of honoring veterans.
“I’ve done a lot of research on it,” Martinez said. “A lot of what we want to do is we want to honor veterans, our fathers, brothers, and others who have served.”

Veterans Day closings
Many, but not all, government offices in the area will close on Tuesday to observe Veterans Day.
Operations of the Curry County Courthouse, including the 9th Judicial District Court, will be closed on that day. Local post offices will also be closed.
With a few exceptions, most city of Clovis operations will remain open. City Manager Ray Mondragon said some offices will be closed, but they will not be operations normally contacted by the general public.
Most state agencies will close.