It’s been a long road for Taos Pueblo’s John Romero. The Vietnam Veteran and veteran’s advocate has been working for five years to finally memorialize the men and women from his tribe who served in the nation’s military beyond his reservation’s borders.
Taos Pueblo has a long history of military service, which has been likened to an extension of their duty to protect their own lands and people. Appropriately, the memorial in their honor was dedicated on Veteran’s Day (Nov. 11) in ceremonies at the site next to the entrance to the historic village, and ironically is within sight of the San Geronimo Church ruins that became a cemetery in the decades after U.S. Cavalry soldiers destroyed it with cannon fire after the Taos Revolt of 1847.
The memorial consists of stone tablets containing the names of tribal members who served in the U.S. military, plus those who were captured and held as prisoners of war during the Bataan Death March in World War II. Behind it, are flag poles from which those of the United States, State of New Mexico, The Pueblo of Taos, and POW-MIA are flown.
The Taos News was there to chronicle the ceremonies in photos that can be seen in this week’s “On the scene” column in Tempo magazine, and in a video that can soon be viewed at www.taosnews.com.