From veterans to volunteers, this special edition of Focus on Artesia is a salute to those who live a life of service to our country and our community. Their stories are a celebration of freedom and the true American spirit.
I come from a long line of military service. In my immediate family, my father, grandfather, great-grandfather, uncle, cousin, and two brothers-in-law are all veterans or in active service. My grandfather, John Simons, Jr. was wounded during WWII. He wrote in his memoir, “The freedom we enjoy in the United States is not free, but came at a great price paid by World War II veterans and veterans of other wars that have fought to preserve our freedom before and since. It is my prayer today that the young men and women who serve in today’s military will be treated as heroes by the citizens they are protecting and the sacrificial service of all military veterans will never be forgotten.” So it is with great pride that we have the opportunity to honor these special members of our community.
We tend to forget what a privilege and blessing it is to live in the freest, most prosperous nation in the world. We often hear coined phrases like, “Freedom isn’t free” but let the powerful stories from our local WWII veterans be a reminder that the liberty, justice, freedom, and happiness we get to experience today was fought for and protected by generations before us. On page 8, you can read about the patriotic culture within the community of Artesia and some ways to honor those who carved the path to freedom. The 9/11 Memorial Exhibit, which will be rolling through Artesia in June, offers another great opportunity to learn and teach our youth about the cost of freedom. Get all the information on this unique experience on page 14.
In New Mexico, we live in a land of unending skies and diverse landscapes, where red sand and mesquite stretch for miles to the east and national forest to the west. It is truly the land that I love. I can’t wait to get outdoors and explore this summer. We will be using the Guadalupe Rim Road trail guide on page 12 to explore the rocky terrain and wildlife in New Mexico and West Texas. Be sure to take advantage of these warm summer months to explore the Land of Enchantment. The opportunities are endless!
I’d like to thank you for reading our publication. As you flip through, I hope that you will take notice of the businesses and organizations on each page. We wouldn’t be able to produce this publication without their support. If you haven’t already, be sure to check out our website for community news and events!
Editorial Director, Focus on Artesia
Letter originally published in Focus on Artesia 2021 Summer edition.