Freed Santa Feans pose for group picture, 1945.

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“And we jumped off the train and kissed the ground. This . . .  was . . .  New Mexico.”

 

— Maynard Meuli, “Beyond Courage”

On November 12, 1945, Santa Fe hosted a “Welcome Home” celebration which included a parade in which thousands participated to pay tribute to returning Santa Fe County veterans. Veterans from other parts of the state, many who were patients at Bruns General Hospital, were also in large attendance. The parade was so long, it met itself coming at going only a third of the way through. [Then] Col. John Pugh, aide-de-camp to General Wainwright on Corregidor, and also a Prisoner of War, was among the dignitaries present. The parade was preceded by religious services, and followed by a football game, and a cocktail party and dance later that evening.