Created: May 20, 2020 06:17 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said mass gathering are still a no-go, which means cities across New Mexico are changing up their plans for Memorial Day. Some cities, however, are changing more than others.
“It weighs heavy on your heart because this is a very big service for us here in Rio Rancho,” said Rio Rancho Mayor Gregg Hull.
Mayor Hull said their Memorial Day service is one of the city’s crown jewels.
“We bring the whole community together to remember those and reflect and do this very honoring service,” he said.
But this year, it will not look the same.
"We will not be allowing entry into the park because, once I said, it's a very confined space and that can get very–that can get out of control,” the mayor said.
Mayor Hull said he’s following the governor’s orders and will be filming the service instead, then posting it online for people to watch.
For the city of Grants, that’s not the case.
“We're doing the same thing we do every year. We're having our field of honor at Fire and Ice Park,” said Grants Mayor Martin Hicks. “The only difference is we'll be recommending social distancing."
Mayor Hicks said the city will be inviting people to gather in Grants. Hicks is no stranger to challenging the governor’s public health orders.
"I mean, we've been doing it for years, we're not going to stop now. We're not going to quit honoring our dead,” Hicks said.
Mayor Hicks said they will suggest people keep six feet apart. As for masks, the mayor is leaving that decision up to the people.
"She cannot tell me I have to put a mask on, OK, nobody can tell me I have to put a mask on and I'd even be willing to bet there's a law on the books from the 1800s that says you can't wear a mask because of the robberies and stuff back in the day,” he said.
The two different cities are taking drastically different approaches to a Memorial Day celebration.
“There are typically a lot of at-risk individuals that would show up to this event, so we really want to have respect for that,” Mayor Hull said.
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