Moriarty voted to fund a veterans memorial at the city park, allocating $150,000 last week to build it.
The total cost of the project is estimated at $208,000, according to Mayor Ted Hart.
Hart said that Councilor Steve Anaya challenged the community to make donations in the names of specific veterans in their honor to close that funding gap.
Now left to consider is who will be represented in that memorial—whether that might be limited to people from within the city limits, or whether it would be open to name veterans from the larger area.
“And we don’t want to build this thing in the middle of winter,” Hart said, adding that a committee is being formed to discuss the scope of the memorial.
Shari Anaya was one of the early driving forces for a veterans memorial. “My husband came back from Vietnam to American soil and was spit on,” she explained. “It wasn’t until recently that these veterans are being recognized for their sacrificed.
Shari Anaya said that veterans are increasingly stereotyped as “having PTSD and not being able to function in society.”
In travels through the Southeastern United States, she said, “We went through a lot of little towns and they all seemed to have some monument to the names of the people that the community gave for the safety and protection of our country.”
She wanted to see something similar in Moriarty. Working with the Moriarty Garden Club, she started pushing for a memorial at the city park. She said at the previous city council meeting that what the city has funded is much larger than what she had envisioned.
For her part, Shari Anaya said she would prefer to limit the names on the memorial to those veterans from Moriarty.
To find out more about the committee, or to make a donation to sponsor a veteran on the memorial, contact the city at 505-832-4406.
Leota started working for The Independent in 2006, working her way up through the ranks. An employee buyout in 2010 led to her ownership of the newspaper. Leota has served on the board of the N.M. Press Association, and is currently its First Vice President. She is passionate about health and wellness, especially mental health, and loves making art. She can be reached at [email protected]