Members of the new Mexico nationwide Guard execute a 21-gun salute Thursday throughout a funeral ceremony because that unclaimed veterans at the Santa Fe national Cemetery. Though no family members came forward, members that the community paid their respects together the 22 veterans to be interred with full military honors.

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Rosemary Morales, right, gets choked up as ‘Amazing Grace’ is performed during Thursday’s ceremony in ~ Santa Fe nationwide Cemetery.


An honor guard currently up near a hearse include 22 flag-draped urns during a consciousness Thursday because that the funeral of unclaimed veterans at Santa Fe nationwide Cemetery.


The salutes began as the white hearse transferring the remains pulled up the driveway that the Santa Fe national Cemetery.

Those in attendance — some in complete dress uniform, some wearing piece of clothing identifying them as veterans, part in civilian garb — interpreted the solemn nature of the event.

Twenty-two forgotten veterans who offered their country and also died without having any family members insurance claim their stays were placed to rest Thursday.

“The sad reality of the matter is that us don’t understand much around these men past their name and also rank,” Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said during the funeral ceremony at Santa Fe nationwide Cemetery.

“No friends or household came front to insurance claim their remains, and also so we space left without the details of your existences,” she said. “But us do understand that every answered the speak to to serve the United says of America and each offered honorably.”

She stated the 22 veterans, every men, did no lead perfect lives and likely “lived difficult lives after their service.”

The state department of Veterans Services has actually hosted an yearly Forgotten Heroes Memorial awareness honoring unclaimed veterans due to the fact that 2009. All of the men hidden Thursday died between 2018 and also 2020 except for one, who died in 2001.

Similar military interment ceremonies take it place across the country. Some attract more attention than others. In 2019 in Texas, thousands of people showed as much as attend U.S. Air force veteran Joseph Walker’s army funeral ~ officials feared no one would attend due to the fact that no family members asserted his remains.

Thursday’s ceremony, held on a hill overlooking rows of graves of veterans and also their spouses, had a prayer; a rendition that the nationwide anthem through Albuquerque teenager Marisol Herrera; and brief speeches by Lujan Grisham, cemetery manager Victor L. Vasquez and also Sonya Smith, secretary of the state department of Veterans Services.

Officials testimonial the military records of the interred veterans come ensure they accomplish the criteria because that a armed forces burial, which armed forces veterans with honorable discharges may receive for totally free as part of your benefits.

As if ~ above cue, once two bagpipe players started performing a rendition that “Amazing Grace,” those winds died down to practically nothing.

Some in the assembly of around 150 shed tears and consoled one another. Rather bowed their heads. Salutes were plentiful, describe a strong presence of veterans.

Among those in attendance was Rep. Bother Garcia, a sponsor Democrat and a U.S. Marine Corps veteran who offered in the Vietnam War. He said before Thursday’s commemoration the too many U.S. Soldiers to be left behind and also forgotten in that conflict.

“We can not afford to shed track of what i do not care of our veterans,” that said. “We can not forget them. Anybody who placed on a uniform needs to be remembered.”

Herrera, who claimed she is considering offer in the military once she graduates high school, stated after the ceremony she felt the was essential to be over there to pay tribute come the veterans.

“These world do not have a family,” she said of the 22 veterans. “For me to stand because that them means a lot.”

Maj. Gen. Ken Nava, new Mexico’s adjutant general, review off the 22 men’s surname in roll call style at the finish of the ceremony. Nava stated afterward together public events prove the veterans space not forgotten.

If You walk

22 veterans were laid to remainder in a forgotten Heroes Memorial Ceremony at the Santa Fe national Cemetery Thursday. Castle were: (ca as per program)

Stephen Anthony Atwood, U.S. Army

Michael Owen Crossley, U.S. Naval Corps.

Lester Wayne Faulk, U.S. Navy

Bruce Allan Halterman, U.S. Army

Michael beam Harriman, U.S. Army

Dean Ross Harris, U.S. Marine Corps. 

John Willliam Harrison, U.S. Army

Rocky Hunter, U.S. Navy

James Andrew Jaworski, U.S. Navy

Frederick Addison Jones, U.S Army

Kerry Rodney Lee, U.S. Army

James Edward Marshall, U.S. Marine Corps. 

Timothy Carlos Murray, U.S. Maritime Corps.

Frederick Calhoun Pickens, U.S. Navy

Tony Leon Roberson, U.S. Marine Corps. 

Wayne Charles Roundeau, U.S. Army

Randolph Allen Saxvold, U.S. Army

George Lawrence Schmith, U.S. Army

Felix john Stanion, U.S. Naval Cops. 

Sheldon Donald Tauber, U.S. Army

John Tyler, U.S. Army

Thomas E. Bell, U.S. Navy

Robert Nott

General Assignment Reporter

Robert Nott has actually covered education and youth concerns for the Santa Fe brand-new Mexican. He is assigned come The brand-new Mexican"s city desk where the covers a basic assignment beat.

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