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Memorial Day weekend 2024 remembers the fallen

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Operation Battle Born to carry dog tags from three wars

This year’s Memorial Day weekend will not just remember veterans who died in all wars. A particular emphasis will also be placed on those who died while serving the United States during the Vietnam War.

Communities across Nevada, in the western part of the Silver State, will honor thousands of veterans who died in conflicts from before the Civil War to military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan. The largest Memorial Day service will occur at the Northern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Fernley beginning at 11 a.m. on Monday, May 27, 2024. 

“The Nevada Veterans Coalition invites the public to honor, respect and remember our fallen servicemen and women this Memorial Day,” said Rich Crombie, spokesman for the NVC. “The event is free and open to the public.”

Miniature U.S. flags will be placed next to veterans’ graves during the Memorial Day weekend at cemeteries across Northern Nevada. Steve Ranson / Nevada News Group
Miniature U.S. flags will be placed next to veterans’ graves during the Memorial Day weekend at cemeteries across Northern Nevada. Steve Ranson / Nevada News Group

Crombie said the Fernley ceremony includes guest speakers, a rifle volley by the NVC rife team, the playing of “Taps” and “Amazing Grace” and the laying of a memorial wreath. He said this year’s main speaker is Stavros Anthony, Nevada’s lieutenant governor. Anthony has been a familiar face at many veterans’ ceremonies, including last week’s fifth anniversary of the Nevada State Veterans Home’s opening in Sparks and the Vietnam War Veterans Remembrance Day ceremony at Truckee Meadows Community College in late March.

Although the original emphasis has been placed on remembering the men and women who died during their military service, Memorial Day also honors the veterans who served their country but have died since their discharge. More than 8,000 veterans are interred at NNVMC.

Crombie said a flag-in day, on which volunteers plant more than 8,000 flags, is Saturday, May 25, beginning at 8:30 a.m. He encourages the public, schools, civic and community groups to help the NVC.

Fallon will also conduct three separate Memorial Day observances beginning at the Churchill County Cemetery at 11 a.m., the Stillwater Indian Cemetery on the Fallon Paiute Shoshone reservation at noon and The Gardens Funeral Home Crematory and Cemetery at 1 p.m.

According to Mike Terry, with the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1002 in Fallon, flags will be placed at the Churchill County Cemetery at 8:30 a.m. on Sunday and removed on Monday afternoon at 5.

Volunteers are needed at Lone Mountain Cemetery in Carson City on Friday, May 24, at 4 p.m. to place flags on veterans’ headstones. They are asked to meet in the middle of the cemetery and pass out bundles of flags. Flags are to be placed in the upper left corner of each headstone marked of a veteran, approximately 2 inches above the corner. Volunteers should return on Monday at 4 p.m. to remove the flags and return them to storage.

The TMCC Veterans Club and its partner, the University of Nevada, Reno, are implementing “Operation Battle Born: Ruck to Remember 2024.” The ruck march honors the fallen heroes from the Global War on Terrorism. 

Two marchers alternated carrying rucksacks filled with dog tags of service members who died in Iraq or Afghanistan. They marched to the Northern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Fernley on Memorial Day 2022. Steve Ranson / Nevada News Group
Two marchers alternated carrying rucksacks filled with dog tags of service members who died in Iraq or Afghanistan. They marched to the Northern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Fernley on Memorial Day 2022. Steve Ranson / Nevada News Group

Over four days, veterans and volunteers from across Nevada will take turns carrying two rucksacks that share almost 7,000 service member dog tags. They include the 57 fallen Nevadans who have died since Sept. 11, 2001. Organizers announced at the Vietnam War Veterans Remembrance Day ceremony in March that volunteers will carry 151 dog tags of Nevadans killed in Southeast Asia. From 1955 to April 30, 1975, more than 58,000 military personnel were killed in a war fought by the United States and South Vietnam and their allies against the North Vietnamese Army and Viet Cong (National Liberation Front.) More than 8 million men and women served during the Vietnam era.

In their honor, the ruck march will begin at Eastside Memorial Park in Minden and end at Fernley’s Northern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery. Participants will be asked to challenge themselves physically and mentally, facing the heat and the weight of the fallen heroes on their backs. 

The final leg of this ruck march will be on Monday, and the marchers will arrive at the NNVMC on Memorial Day at 11 a.m. Email Operation Battle Born Ruck to Remember at [email protected], or call TMCC Veteran Services at 775-337-5612 for information.

Vietnam Moving Wall

The Vietnam Moving Wall Minden Project’s opening ceremony is Friday and is hosted by the Eastside Memorial Park on 1600 Buckeye Road. The public can view the wall for free 24 hours a day. The wall will be built on Thursday, and a community barbecue and candlelight vigil are scheduled for Sunday. The closing ceremony will be on Monday.

This half-size replica of the Vietnam Wall in D.C. will be displayed May 23-28. 

The schedule is:

  • Wednesday — The wall is coming from Southern California and will be parked at the Carson Valley Inn for the night.
  • Thursday — The wall will be escorted from CVI to the Eastside Memorial Park. Anyone interested in being part of the escort parade should meet at the CVI parking lot at 8 a.m. Starting at 10 a.m., the wall will be built on top of a base.
  • Friday—The opening ceremony will be at 10 a.m., with a helicopter flying over and landing and speeches from local dignitaries. The wall will be open for viewing 24 hours until 8 a.m., May 28. Memorial items can be brought to leave at the wall. These items will be sent back with the wall.
  • Saturday — Viewing Day
  • Sunday—Community Barbecue at 7 p.m., especially for veterans, but all are invited. A candlelight vigil to welcome home Vets will occur at 9:30 p.m.
  • Monday — Closing Ceremony at 7 p.m.
  • Tuesday — Wall comes down at 8 a.m.
Steve Ranson
Steve Ranson
Steve Ranson is Editor Emeritus of the Lahontan Valley News.

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