Memorial bricks’ purpose: Remembering the fallen

ANGEL FIRE — The sun is blazing as a cadre of volunteers from Run For The Wall install more than 400 memorial bricks bearing the names of fallen military personnel at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Angel Fire Saturday (Sept. 2). Others watch from under the shade of nearby trees, under a tent or in the sun as memorial volunteers formally recognize every soldier whose name appears on a brick in a solemn ceremony that began at 8:45 a.m. with a Blessing of the Bricks and continued throughout the day as family members and friends gathered to honor deceased active-duty service members or veterans from any war with a brick to be placed along memorial walkways. Over 3,000 memorial bricks bearing the names of fallen service members and veterans line the sidewalks and pathways at the Memorial.

The day-long ceremony includes recognition for two living recipients of the Congressional Medal of Honor—our nation’s highest combat award: Hershel “Woody” Williams, for his heroics during the Battle of Iwo Jima in World War II, and Hiroshi “Hershey” Miyamura, for his bravery in the Korean War.

Medal of honor recipients receive special plaques. (Chronicle photo by Ellen Miller-Goins)
(Chronicle photo by Ellen Miller-Goins)
Retired National Guardsman and Vietnam Veteran Richard “Dick” Dickerson, who serves on the board of the David Westphall Veterans Foundation, greets the crowd before the recognizing medal of honor recipients Hershel “Woody” Williams and Hiroshi “Hershey” Miyamura. (Chronicle photo by Ellen Miller-Goins)
Chuck Howe (right), founder and president of the National Veterans Wellness and Healing Center of Angel Fire, reads from a proclamation by New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez recognizing the heroism of Hershel “Woody” Williams (left). (Chronicle photo by Ellen Miller-Goins)
Presenting the plaque for Woody. (Chronicle photo by Ellen Miller-Goins)
(Chronicle photo by Ellen Miller-Goins)
(Chronicle photo by Ellen Miller-Goins)
M. Jay Mitchell, New Mexico Cabinet Secretary for the New Mexico Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (DHSEM), presents the plaque for Hiroshi H. Miyamura, 91, of Gallup, New Mexico. According to Wikipedia, Miyamura was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions on April 24–25, 1951, near Taejon-ni, Korea, while serving as a corporal in the 2nd Battalion, 7th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division. (Chronicle photo by Ellen Miller-Goins)
M. Jay Mitchell Mitchell, a fifth generation New Mexican, retired from the United States Air Force as a Colonel after more than 26 years of service. He still has a home in Angel Fire where he was Village Manager. (Chronicle photo by Ellen Miller-Goins)
(Chronicle photo by Ellen Miller-Goins)
(Chronicle photo by Ellen Miller-Goins)
(Chronicle photo by Ellen Miller-Goins)
(Chronicle photo by Ellen Miller-Goins)
(Chronicle photo by Ellen Miller-Goins)
(Chronicle photo by Ellen Miller-Goins)
(Chronicle photo by Ellen Miller-Goins)
Hershel Woodrow “Woody” Williams gives the keynote address and entreats listeners to support the Hershel Woody Williams Congressional Medal of Honor Education Foundation, whose vision is to help create monuments across the United States to honor “Gold Star Mothers, Fathers, and Relatives who have sacrificed a Loved One for our Freedom.” (Chronicle photo by Ellen Miller-Goins)
(Chronicle photo by Ellen Miller-Goins)
(Chronicle photo by Ellen Miller-Goins)
French horn player Eric Huckins and trumpet player Steven Franklin (not pictured of The Brass Project, a brass ensemble that was in town for the annual Music From Angel Fire chamber music festival, played a stirring duet rendition of Taps. (Chronicle photo by Ellen Miller-Goins)
Run For The Wall volunteers wait to deliver bricks. (Chronicle photo by Ellen Miller-Goins)
(Chronicle photo by Ellen Miller-Goins)
(Chronicle photo by Ellen Miller-Goins)