Ceremony will honor Vietnam War veterans
The event will also mark the start of Constitution Week
FARMINGTON — A ceremony on Saturday at Vietnam Veterans Park will honor veterans of the Vietnam War and recognize the start of Constitution Week.
The Desert Gold Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution will host the ceremony, which is open to the public and to veterans.
The chapter has been working for more than a year to get a 50th anniversary memorial installed at Vietnam Veterans Park, 3801 N. Butler Ave.
In 2012, President Barack Obama signed a proclamation declaring the country would commemorate the 50th anniversary of the war over a 13-year time frame. The 50th anniversary observations began in 2012 and will continue through 2025.
Vietnam War veteran Mike Padilla said the memorial and ceremony means a lot to him.
"To me, it's a long time coming," he said.
Padilla will give an address during the ceremony before the unveiling and dedication of the Vietnam War 50th Anniversary Memorial.
The memorial marker will be installed Tuesday at the park, according to Diane Halvorson, a regent for the Desert Gold Chapter. It will be dedicated during Saturday's ceremony. The marker is made out of black marble and has a bronze plaque.
"It's a gift from the heart," Halvorson said.
In addition to honoring Vietnam veterans, the ceremony will mark the start of Constitution Week, which begins Saturday and stretches to Sept. 23. Halvorson said Daughters of the American Revolution chapters across the country will ring bells at 2 p.m. Saturday to mark the start of the week.
During Constitution Week, the local club will adopt classes at Farmington and Aztec high schools and deliver U.S. Constitution booklets to each student.
Halvorson said the week is an annual celebration for the chapter and the addition of the Vietnam War memorial makes this year's event even more special.
"I'm really excited that we have a chance to honor the Vietnam veterans," she said.
Hannah Grover covers government for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652.
If you go
What: Vietnam War 50th Anniversary Commemoration
When: 1:30 p.m. Saturday
Where: Vietnam Veterans Park, 3801 N. Butler Ave. in Farmington