Santa Fe may be small in terms of population size, but it packs in more history and culture than cities five to ten times its size. Plus, getting around is easy: with over 400 restaurants and 19 world-class museums all within a walkable radius of one another.
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Flag of the United States of America
The Flag of the United States represents our nation’s unity and sovereignty. Comprised of thirteen horizontal stripes – seven red alternating with six white to symbolize our original 13 colonies – with a star-studded blue field known as a canton at its summit, its number of stars now representing all 50 state members since 1960 has increased accordingly.
Legend holds that George Washington asked Philadelphia seamstress Betsy Ross to create the first American flag in 1776; however, historians disprove this claim and believe Francis Hopkinson designed both Great Seal and coin designs instead.
The colors of the flag each have their own meaning; white stands for purity and innocence, red stands for hardiness and valor and blue represents vigilance, perseverance and justice. According to the Flag Code, any addition of insignia, drawings or markings on stars and stripes is strictly forbidden by adding any symbolism, drawing or markings; to pledge allegiance one simply extends their arms towards it before saying: “I pledge my allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America”.
State Seal of New Mexico
The State Seal of New Mexico is an official symbol sanctioned by its Constitution to be used on official documents and expressions of statehood. It dates back to 1860s; however, its adoption as part of statehood only occurred one year later in 1913.
It depicts an American bald eagle with wings spread, protecting a Mexican brown (harpy) eagle ensnared by a serpent and holding cacti in its beak; together these birds symbolize the transition of sovereignty from Mexico to the United States in 1846.
At the base of each eagle is New Mexico’s Latin motto “Crescit eundo,” or “It grows as it goes.” Also engraved is its admission date to the Union (1912). These elements were selected because they represent both its colonial past and its future as an amalgam of various cultures; moreover, each eagle takes inspiration from Zia sun symbols which originated as clay pieces handmade by Zia artists from across New Mexico.
National Cemetery of the United States of America
The national cemetery system stands as an emblematic representation of both violence and healing after our nation’s most devastating wars, representing both in its grace-filled landscapes and marble headstones the memory of battle as well as death’s dignity and reconciliation between enemies while honoring their memory in America’s ongoing dedication to remembering its dead.
Cemeterys have long been revered places of resting place for Presidents, Supreme Court Justices and numerous military heroes, with President Washington being laid to rest here as well. Today the National Cemetery Administration (NCA) preserves these gravesites for future generations, in addition to providing memorials and monuments as well as overseeing historical burial grounds and conducting research about American war dead.
Americans from around the globe visit the National Cemetery to pay their respects, participate in wreath laying ceremonies or watch the changing of the guard. Visitors may decorate grave sites on Memorial Day and other times throughout the year with small American flags as memorialization; other decorations, such as breakable ornaments or plants or flowers are not permitted.
Santa Fe National Cemetery
Santa Fe Cemetery in New Mexico is one of two national cemeteries managed by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, covering an area of 84.3 acres with over 68,000 interments. Established as a national cemetery in 1875 but later downgraded back into a post cemetery status until being reinstated as such in 1912.
There are numerous notable people and events interred at the cemetery, including New Mexico Gov. Charles Bent and Medal of Honor recipients buried there. Additionally, Lawrence Murphy a cattleman involved with Lincoln County War was laid to rest there as was Billy the Kid himself.
The superintendent’s lodge, constructed of ashlar stone and designed in both Pueblo and Spanish styles, features both corredors, canales (water spouts), and stepped designs reminiscent of Pueblo architecture. Memorials at the cemetery include Gettysburg Address plaque, Vietnam Veterans’ Memorial, World War II Combat Glider Pilots Memorial and China-Burma-India Veterans Memorial; statues, vigil lights or any non-floral items are not permitted on gravesites.