Memorial Day services planned across region

By Clarence Plank: Freedom New Mexico

Memorial Day observances are planned across the region to honor fallen soldiers.

Among organizations planning ceremonies Monday in Portales are the American Legion Post 31 in Portales, United Daughters of the Confederacy chapters from Portales and Clovis and Sons of the Confederate Veterans.

American Legion Post 31 Commander Joe Blair is the longtime organizer of an annual ceremony his organization puts on each year.

“We’ve been doing a Memorial Day service over at the Portales Cemetery for 64 years,” Blair said. “It started when we recognized our Gold Star Mothers for World War II. Gold Star Mothers are mothers who lost a son in the war.”

Lila Bryant and Myrtie Smith are Gold Star Mothers who will be laying a wreath in memory of their sons and other soldiers.

The American Legion Post 31 will be meeting at the flagpole in the Portales Cemetery at 10:30 a.m. on Memorial Day.

The United Daughters of the Confederacy will be meeting at the gravesite of a fallen Civil War soldier at 9 a.m. at the Portales Cemetery. George Washington Wood served in the 21st Texas Infantry in Griffin’s Regiment and Capt. John Tubb’s company, said Janelle Foster, president of the Ellen W. Jones Chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy

“We’re going to be doing a dedication because the site has never had a tombstone because he was in an unmarked grave,” said Foster.

The UDC will move from the gravesite to the UDC Circle where they will perform a welcome, invocation and salute all flags, said Foster.

“We salute the New Mexico, Confederate and American flags and then we have a guest speaker,” Foster said. “Then we will have a roll call for those buried at the cemetery. Then we’ll go over to the American Legion’s Memorial Day program at the flagpole.”