City of Albuquerque installs lights for flags in Old Town

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – A small change in Albuquerque’s Old Town is making a big difference, especially for one of the shop owners.

The change is so small that if you were just walking through the plaza, you might not notice what’s different. But this change for one merchant is quite significant.

“It’s a really nice treat to see them up for Presidents’ Day” said John Hoffsis. “It’s about time that the city, you know, took responsibility for something they should’ve probably been doing about 50 years ago.”

John’s dad, James, was a Korean War veteran. According to John, his father took on the duty of raising and lowering the flag every day for nearly five decades, because there hadn’t been lights installed to illuminate the American flag – until now.

Dave Simon, director of Albuquerque’s Parks and Recreation says the new lights were installed in early February.

“I really want to thank James and John Hoffsis, their family for their years of volunteer service assisting with flag duty on Old Town Plaza,” said Simon. 

James lived to be 93.

“He’d be so happy. He’d probably say the same thing I did ‘It’s about darn time,’” said John. 

Now, the five flags over Old Town will remain flying day and night.

“It looks, looks great,” John said. 

Parks and recreation says the four lights cost a few thousand dollars, and that supply chain issues caused a delay for the installation. 

But the city will be taking over all flag raising and lowering duties from here on out.