• J.R. Lonsway

Memorial Day 2020

Would someone please give New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan-Grisham instruction on flag protocol?


I hate to politicize my blog, but nothing pisses me off more than politicians taking advantage of a sacred national holiday by using it for purposes other than what was intended. Memorial Day is about honoring those who served this great country in uniform and died on fields of battle. It is not about honoring people who have died from complications of an upper respiratory virus.


The Governor has ordered all flags flown at half staff during Memorial Day weekend in honor of New Mexicans who have died from COVID-19. This is inappropriate. Some might call it a slap in the face for those families who lost loved ones in time of war, others might say it is nothing more than poor judgment, some might say bad timing. Whatever the reason, it was not a well-thought out executive decision.


Any death is tragic, especially an untimely one, but let's not confuse a national remembrance day that honors members of the military dying in battle for their nation with civilians succumbing to a virus brought to us by Communist China.


Now, a note for Las Cruces Mayor Ken Miyagishima: Who do you think you are to tell citizens of Las Cruces to not shop in El Paso, Texas, because that city has a higher number of COVID-19 cases than Las Cruces? El Paso should have more cases than Las Cruces because their city is nearly seven times the size of ours.


I cannot find any COVID-19 statistics for the City of Las Cruces proper, only Doña Ana County. El Paso keeps stats on city and county cases, so for comparison I will use El Paso County population and COVID-19 cases versus Doña Ana County. Statistically, a person living forty miles down the road has a one-thousandth of a percentage point more probability of catching the virus than a person in Doña Ana County.


One-thousandth of a percentage point.


I've got news for Mayor Nanny. I've been shopping in El Paso on a regular basis since things were shut down due to corona virus and I know lots of residents of Doña Ana County who have. I am not in the least concerned about shopping there and certainly don't need any advice from the intellectually challenged on where to buy groceries. Perhaps if the economic policies of Las Cruces were progressive we could have the same shopping opportunities here as what El Paso offers (you know what I mean: our state capitol, Santa Fe, a city with 15,000 fewer residents than Las Cruces, has a Total Wine and a Whole Foods. Heck, they even have a Trader Joe's. Why do they have that and we don't?).


You, Mayor Nanny, remind me of other politicians who have come to the forefront of national news through bad policy and/or poor decision making, and here is my conclusion about most politicians in general, whether at the national, state, or local level:


Not smart enough for medical school, but clever enough to get elected and dictate to people how they should live their lives.


You're on your fourth term as mayor. Maybe this is a good argument for term limits.


Now, back to the true meaning of Memorial Day. For those of you who have lost loved ones and friends on the field of battle, my heartfelt thoughts and prayers. This sacred day was set aside for them. Their sacrifices will never be forgotten.


Happy Memorial Day, and as always, Semper Fi!

J.R. Lonsway served 22 years with the Las Cruces, New Mexico, police department and retired as a Deputy Chief of Police. After retirement he served with the U.S. Department of State as a police advisor in Kosovo, Afghanistan, Liberia, Haiti, Lebanon, and South Sudan. He is a former U.S. Marine.

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