Not Forgotten Outreach, Inc. (NFO), the lead of a coalition with the Taos Pueblo, Taos VFW Post 3259, and DAV Chapter 12, will host a virtual Flag Ceremony at the new Taos Veterans Living Memorial Park this Memorial Day.
This is the kick off for Phase 1 of 2 for improvements, which will consist of an ADA-accessible walking trail crossing over a spring-fed drainage waterway, a World War II anti-aircraft cannon, and landscaping improvements to include a pollinator corridor.
We are officially starting Phase I of the Taos Veterans Living Memorial Park with a flag dedication ceremony at noon this coming Memorial Day, May 25. A 20-foot flagpole with a flag, donated by Rio Grande Ace Hardware, will be temporarily placed until three permanent flag poles are set.
A representative from Rio Grande Ace Hardware will hand over the first flag for the Memorial Park to Roy Hogsett, Park Committee Chair. The VFW Post 3259 will present colors and play Taps, during the rising of the flag.
Due to COVID-19, only pre-approved representatives will be authorized to be in the Park. Anyone wanting to view the ceremony can watch from their cars across the main road at Centinel Bank parking lot. This is a social distancing event and all COVID-19 protocols will be followed. The event will be broadcasted via Facebook live.
The ADA-accessible walking path was graciously funded by the Christopher & Dana Reeves Foundation, through their 2019 Direct Effect Quality of Life grant. The path will consist of wheelchair friendly eco-pavers that are water permeable and will loop around the 2-acre memorial.
VFW Post 3259 will be placing their WWII anti-aircraft cannon with the help of a gracious donation from Robert Medina & Sons Concrete and Sand, Inc. This cannon is similar to the ones used by the New Mexico National Guard 200th Coast Artillery (AA) during WWII. The cannon will be placed on a pentagon shaped concrete pad. Robert Medina was in the 200th and 515th Coast Artillery, New Mexico National Guard and served in the Philippine Islands.
Medina has many Taos County friends and relatives. Outnumbered but never outfought, Medina was taken prisoner along with 70,000 other American and Filipino troops when the Japanese Army finally took over the island of Corregidor. Medina survived three years and nine months as prisoner of war after the Bataan Death March.
NFO is also a recipient of a Partners for U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services program (USFWS) grant. USFWS has conducted a site survey and proposal for the habitat restoration plan for the property which includes establishing a food forest, pollinator habitat and wildlife corridor, drainage ditch restoration, and pastureland health. NFO collaborated with USFWS’s Program staff and University of New Mexico’s (UNM) Community and Regional program. The collaboration will utilize permaculture to create a diverse, self-sustainable ecosystem on the property. USFWS will provide technical assistance and implementation assistance in completing these goals. In addition, this project will involve input and support from UNM students.
Due to the location of Taos Veterans Living Memorial Park being directly off the main thoroughfare (Highway 64), an average traffic flow of over 14,000 vehicles a day will pass the park via 273 feet of highway frontage.
The Taos Veterans Living Memorial Park is not a replacement for the Veterans Memorial on the Taos Plaza, but another resource since Taos County has so many veterans.
About Not Forgotten Outreach, Inc.
Not Forgotten Outreach, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) dedicated to motivating Military Members and Veterans, their Families, and Gold Star Families of Fallen Heroes to participate in recreational, therapeutic and farming activities in order to facilitate the healing process. Serving over 4,200 Military Families in 2018, NFO provides opportunities to improve relationships, build comradeship and at the same time enhance “Mindfulness” and personal well-being. For Further Questions and Sponsorship Opportunities please contact Don Peters, firstname.lastname@example.org (575).224.1503.