Letters to the Editor: Memorial Day is for remembrance

Farmington Daily Times

Memorial Day is for rememberance

New Mexico - and the Northwest part of the state in particular - holds a long and proud military history. Gallup is known as the most patriotic small town in America, and we are blessed to be home to a large population of military veterans. But sadly, many service men and women from our community never made it home.

In World War II, New Mexico lost more military service members per capita than any other state, including a dozen Navajo Code Talkers and nearly 50 Gallup residents who were part of the infamous Bataan Death March, forced on a 65-mile march without food or water. Those who survived the harrowing journey spent several subsequent years in forced labor. An eternal flame burns in their memory outside of the New Mexico State Capitol.

New Mexico Rep. Patricia Lundstrom, D-Gallup.

In the decades since, we’ve lost additional brothers, sisters, parents, friends, and neighbors, leaving empty chairs at kitchen tables and unfillable holes in our hearts and our communities. This Memorial Day, let’s make sure we remember all those who paid the ultimate sacrifice to defend the freedoms and liberties we enjoy on a daily basis. It is thanks to their service and bravery that we are able to enjoy this special day with our family and friends - and to live every day in a free country.

As the state Representative of House District 9, covering Gallup and much of northwest New Mexico, it is my humble duty to ensure that we celebrate this day with proper reverence, and honor those who lost their lives defending our great nation.

So as you gather for backyard barbeques or enjoy the long weekend traveling, make sure you remember the reason for the holiday. Take a moment to pay your respects and express your gratitude for those who gave their all to protect our freedom.

Rep. Patty Lundstrom

On New Mexico's Education Savings Plans

One of the top priorities for many in New Mexico is educational excellence. In a quiet but meaningful victory this year, Republicans broke partisan barriers to deliver on our promise to increase educational freedom. In a rare bipartisan move, lawmakers aligned for the best interests of New Mexico’s students and families by supporting the NM 529 Education Savings Plan.

529 plans allow working families and extended family members to provide educational opportunities for our most precious asset- our children and future children. We aligned New Mexico’s 529 Education Savings Plans in March with federal law. The changes to 529 Education Plans take effect on June 16, 2023. This move unleashed several new opportunities for many in New Mexico to bypass systemic barriers that limit many working families from pursuing educational options that work for their children.

Attorney Ryan Lane poses for a portrait on Tuesday at his new office at 103 S. Main St. in Aztec.

We are taking a step forward in breaking the broken policies that block so many in New Mexico from opportunity based simply on the zip code in which a child happens to be born. 529 plans may not be the silver bullet. Still, this option provides an opportunity to break free and use your savings, with tax benefits, to pursue options for K-12 private education, apprenticeships, and college expenses. I am incredibly excited to see what impact we can make on New Mexico’s economy by empowering families to save for and make education decisions that fit their family needs.

Conservatives in New Mexico are not done. There remains vast common ground we can pursue with lawmakers across the aisle, and still yet more work to be done to uplift New Mexico‘s educational system from the bottom of so many important metrics. We cannot allow partisan divides to limit this critical work for our students. I am ready and willing to continue fighting for student success, are you?

For more information visit https://www.theeducationplan.com,

House Republican Leader Rep. Ryan Lane