ALBUQUERQUE―The National Hispanic Cultural Center (NHCC) will be joined by the families of Pete Padilla and Manuel Mora for a groundbreaking ceremony on Thursday, July 14 to begin construction of a memorial park that will honor the two Barelas residents who died in the Vietnam War.
The first phase of the construction will begin the process of replacing a park that was located in the Barelas Neighborhood and displaced when the NHCC was built in the late 1990’s along 4th Street near the corner of Caesar Chavez.
“We are fulfilling a promise that was made to the families of these young men who unselfishly served and ultimately gave their lives for their country,” said Cultural Affairs Department Secretary Veronica Gonzales. “This will be a most important space on the NHCC campus, and we hope that the families and the community will help us to pay tribute to Manuel and Pete by utilizing the space once it is completed.”
Once Phase I is complete the NHCC will partner with Bernalillo County and the City of Albuquerque to complete the park. Bernalillo County through the efforts of Comissioner Art De la Cruz and the full commission has appropriated $100,000 towards the completion of the park. The City of Albuquerque through its Parks and Recreation Department will offer project management assistance and in kind services from city resources.
The groundbreaking ceremony will begin at 10:00 am at the location of the entrance to the park which is between the Roy E. Disney Center for Performing Arts building and the Pete V. Domenici Education Center on the west side of the 52-acre campus. Several representatives of the families of Padilla and Mora, along with state and local officials, have been invited to the ground breaking.
The National Hispanic Cultural Center is a division of the New Mexico Department of Cultural Affairs.