Today on Memorial Day in Santa Fe and throughout the country ceremonies take place to honor our fallen veterans. American flags and flowers are places at grave sites to commemorate the men and women who valiantly gave of their lives to ensure our nation’s freedom. The tradition of Memorial Day began after the American Civil War in 1868. More than 600,000 men who gave their lives during that war. Since that time, it has gone on to include all of the men and women of the armed forces who gave their lives during wartime.
Santa Fe National Cemetery
The Santa Fe National Cemetery began after the Civil War. Both Union and Confederate soldiers that died during the historic battle at Glorieta are buried at the national cemetery. The Archdiocese of Santa Fe donated the land to the federal government in 1870. In 1885 the 78.5 -acre burial ground became a national cemetery on the north side of Santa Fe adjacent to Rosario Cemetery. The graves of 65,000 soldiers from around the state can be found at Santa Fe’s National Cemetery.
Gettysburg of the West
In New Mexico the Civil War was fought at the Battle of Glorieta Pass in northern New Mexico. The two-day battle began on March 26, 1862. The battle is known in history as the “Battle of Gettysburg of the West.” Although New Mexico only played a small part in the Civil War, the Santa Fe National Cemetery was created at that time, The Archdiocese of Santa Fe donated the land to the federal government in 1870. In 1885 the site became a national cemetery on Santa Fe’s north side adjacent to Rosario Cemetery.