Events in San Juan County, Navajo Nation observe Veterans Day

Noel Lyn Smith
Farmington Daily Times

Clarification: The Farmington Indian Center announced on Nov. 10 the cancellation of its "Giving Thanks for our Veterans Thanksgiving Dinner." The dinner was scheduled for Nov. 12. Due to a shortage of workers within the City of Farmington, the center will be closed through Nov. 21, the announcement stated.

FARMINGTON — The service of veterans and the holiday dedicated to honoring their patriotism and willingness to serve will be observed at several events in the area this week.

The Desert Gold Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution will place flags on the graves of veterans buried at Memory Gardens, 6917 E. Main St. in Farmington.

The activity is open to the public and starts at 8:30 a.m. on Nov. 11. Volunteers are also welcomed to help DAR members remove flags at 4 p.m.

Veterans will be honored in an event at the Chris Keffalos and Alex Munoz Memorial at Bloomfield High School, 520 N. First St. in Bloomfield.

Local elementary school students watch a passing procession of JROTC students from Aztec High School on Nov. 11, 2019 during the Veterans Day Parade in Aztec.

The program, hosted by the school's Class of 1969, is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and includes special guests and refreshments. The occasion also marks the 10th anniversary of the memorial dedicated to Keffalos and Munoz, both Bloomfield High graduates.

Keffalos was an Army sergeant killed in Cambodia in May 1970 and Munoz was a Marine killed by suicide bombers in Lebanon in October 1983, according to The Daily Times archives.

On the Navajo Nation, the T'oAltsisi Horseback Trail Ride to honor veterans will happen on Nov. 11 near Littlewater.

"The whole purpose of it is for the veterans to mingle together, just to feed the veterans and enjoy the trail ride," event organizer Elouise Brown said.

A man salutes a flag carried by passing JROTC students from Aztec High School during the Veterans Day Parade on Nov. 11, 2019 in Aztec.

The route will be on the east side of U.S. Highway 491 starting at mile marker 73 and ending at mile marker 68 at MC Ranch Road.

Riders check in at 8 a.m. and flag bearers' line up at 8:45 a.m. with the ride beginning at 9 a.m. Meals will be served afterwards. For more information, call Elouise Brown at 505-592-1453.

A Veterans Day parade, sponsored by the Shiprock Chapter Veterans Organization, will take place at 1 p.m. on Nov. 11 in Shiprock.

There is no fee to participate but organizers ask that floats have a veteran theme. Line up starts at 11 a.m. and the parade route is from the Shiprock Chapter house to the Northern Navajo Veterans Center.

Additional events taking place after the holiday, includes the Farmington Indian Center, 200 W. Elm St., having its "Giving Thanks for our Veterans Thanksgiving Dinner" at 11 a.m. on Nov. 12. Meals are to-go and the suggested price is $5 for each plate.

Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 614 will host a parade at 11 a.m. on Main Street in Aztec on Nov. 13. 

Commander Jamie Poncho said the grand marshal is Kenneth Springer Sr. and the parade is being held on Saturday because Veterans Day falls on a weekday this year.

There is no fee to participate. Line up starts at 10 a.m. on Chaco Street.

Jennie Wietharn-Yoakum and her son, Clayton, and daughter, Elaina, and wave to veterans during the Veterans Day Parade on Nov. 11, 2019 in Aztec.

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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