Rotary Club's Healing Fields display open all weekend

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FARMINGTON — Several local organizations and groups will observe Memorial Day in events set for Monday.

The San Juan Rotary Club received help from volunteers today to set up its annual Healing Field flag display at the football field for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Farmington.

This is the seventh year for the display, which has approximately 500 flags in place throughout the Memorial Day weekend.

Rich Canfield, president of the Rotary Club, said the display provides a place for people to heal from their grief, especially those who have lost a loved one in war or as a first responder.

"We are about giving back to our community," Canfield said.

There will be a closing ceremony for the display at 5 p.m. Monday.

The event will include the presentation of colors by the honor guard for the Farmington fire and police departments and a keynote address by New Mexico Department of Veterans Services Secretary Jack Fox. Four Corners Blue Star Mothers President Tillie Muñoz will read the names of local residents who have been killed in action while serving in the military.

Memory Gardens Cemetery, 6917 E. Main St., will have its Memorial Day service at 11 a.m. Monday.

The Upper Fruitland Honor Guard will present the colors, play taps and perform a rifle salute, and members of the Desert Gold Chapter of the Daughters of the National Society of the American Revolution will read "The American's Creed," according to the agenda.

There will also be ceremony involving the placing of a wreath by the American Legion Post 120 from Lake Valley and a dove release in remembrance of all fallen heroes.

The Shiprock Veterans of Foreign War Post 9517 will place flags and crosses on approximately 450 gravesites at the Shiprock Veterans Cemetery starting at 6 a.m.

The group will raise a flag to half-staff at 8 a.m., then have a ceremony at 11 a.m. in which flowers and a wreath will be laid in addition to a rifle salute, the playing of taps and a flag refolding ceremony.

Members will conduct a second ceremony at 3 p.m. at the Newcomb Chapter house.

The Tooh Haltsooí Veterans Organization will have a Memorial Day walk and run at 9 a.m. in Sheep Springs.

Free T-shirts will be provided to the first 10 walkers and 10 runners who finish the 1.8-mile course, which starts and ends at the Tooh Haltsooí Chapter house.

Flags will be placed at the Sheep Springs Community Cemetery starting at 9:15 a.m. followed by the posting of colors at the Sheep Springs Welcome Center, located at the junction of U.S. Highway 491 and N.M. Highway 134.

Tooh Haltsooí Veterans Organization Commander Tommy L. Sandman said this is the fourth year for the event, which includes a luncheon at 11:30 a.m. at the welcome center.

"It is mostly to recognize the contributions our present and past veterans have made to our community," Sandman said.

Noel Lyn Smith covers the Navajo Nation for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4636 or by email at nsmith@daily-times.com.

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