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(Santa Fe New Mexican) Hispanic heritage and veterans’ groups gathered at the Santa Fe Plaza on Saturday to commemorate the 161st anniversary of the Battle of Glorieta Pass, during which Union troops fought back Confederates over three days of combat.
Although its remains were encased in a brown box in the background of the ceremony, the Soldiers’ Monument was conceptually front and center for the event and its speakers.
A proposal in the Santa Fe City Council to rebuild the obelisk died in recent weeks, but groups such as the fraternal organization Union Protectíva de Santa Fé, Hispano Round Table and local members of Veterans of Foreign Wars and American Legion expressed their desire to see the monument restored.
“We are here today to honor soldiers but also to correct history,” event organizer Daniel Ortiz said. “Our history has been hijacked.”
The monument, which was built in 1867 and 1868, originally bore an inscription honoring both the Union soldiers who fought at the 1862 battles of Valverde and Glorieta Pass and the “heroes who have fallen in the various battles with savage Indians.” The word “savage” was removed in 1974.
Ortiz attributed opposition to the Soldiers’ Monument — such as the dayslong protests on the Plaza that ended with the toppling of the obelisk in 2020 — to a “woke mentality” brought on by outsiders. The monument was erected to honor