Created: 05/26/2014 5:42 PM
By: Jen Samp, KOB Eyewitness News 4
Gallup was recently voted the most patriotic small town in the nation. Now, the town has been chosen as a site for a cemetery dedicated to veterans.
Memorial Day is a time to shine in Gallup. The town was nationally recognized last year by map maker Rand McNally for its patriotism.
Monday, the community honored those who served in the Bataan Death March.
Sergeant Michael Velasquez remembers his grandfather, who was a Bataan survivor.
He was buried in a family plot in Gallup, but Velasquez says when his time comes, he'd like to be honored in a national cemetery dedicated for veterans.
"My family is from Gallup, they originated from Gallup. This is where I'm going to die and my family can come visit me," Velasquez said.
A national veteran's cemetery in a rural place like Gallup does not currently exist.
Last summer, New Mexico governor Susana Martinez announced new initiatives to provide a resting place for each of our veterans.
Gallup was one of four sites chosen for these new cemeteries.
"Being the fact that we're most patriotic small town, I think it's a nice addition our town here," Velasquez said.
Three more New Mexico towns were named as sites for veteran's cemeteries, including Angel Fire, Fort Stanton, and Carlsbad.