New Mexicans gather in Albuquerque to honor Memorial Day

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Memorial Day is a time to remember those who died while serving our country – including what some describe as the most patriotic U.S. state.

That’s what Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham described New Mexico during an address Monday at the state veterans memorial in Albuquerque. There, the memories of 3,635 fallen military members came alive for the hundreds of attendees.

“People thanked me for my service. Of all days, it should be the opposite, but it shows you the kindness and respect that’s embedded in military families,” the governor said.

Among veterans still with us today, Gov. Lujan Grisham says New Mexico has the most per capita in the U.S.

“Embedded in that statistic, that Native American sovereign nation family members, is significantly higher here than it is anywhere else. So we’re talking about a legacy of patriotism in the state of New Mexico,” she said.

New Mexico suffered an especially large number of deaths during World War II.

“That’s largely because we stepped up, and served in higher capacities than most other states in the country,” the governor said.

More than 2,000 Purple Heart recipients live in New Mexico. However, the governor acknowledges more work still needs to be done for veterans.

“I want us to stand up housing. I want to make sure we don’t have any veterans who continue to fall through the cracks on our homeless,” Gov. Lujan Grisham said.

While everyone is free to spend the day as they choose, Americans should remember it is a somber occasion. It’s also a time to pause and reflect as a nation.

“We should also be a bit solemn and somber in our remembrance of the sacrifices. The ultimate sacrifice,” the governor said.