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Ceremony at Chief Tecopa Cemetery marks Memorial Day observances in Pahrump

Area veterans, civilians and first responders turned out for the Pahrump Marine Corps League’s Memorial Day ceremony at Chief Tecopa Cemetery on Monday.

The service included members of the Nye County Sheriff’s Office Honor Guard and the Marine Corps League Color Guard.

Nye County Board of Commissioners Chairman John Koenig was the guest speaker.

Koenig said he was humbled and deeply honored for the invitation on such an important occasion.

“We are here today to honor our service members who gave the ultimate sacrifice made in duty and honor of our country,” Koenig said. “Today, people throughout the country will gather to remember, honor and to pay gratitude to those who have served our country. Our gathering is just one small spark in the flame of pride that burns across the nation today and every day.”

Both Nye County Sheriff Sharon Wehrly and Pahrump Valley Fire and Rescue Services Chief Scott Lewis also provided remarks during the ceremony.

“You notice that I’m wearing a cowboy hat, but it’s not just any cowboy hat,” Wehrly said in part. “This cowboy hat came back into being as part of the Nye County Sheriff’s Office uniform, when I came into office. Cowboys, miners, and other people who settled this country all fought in wars, to make sure that we were free. That’s what this symbolizes. We wear it with pride and we wear it to remember.”

Lewis, meanwhile, acknowledged all members of the military for their commitment and sacrifice to the nation.

“I want to say thank you to our servicemen and servicewomen and their families for bringing us where we are today in our country,” he said. “We are proud to serve you and we will continue to do so with the utmost respect. We also brought the tower ladder truck out today where we displayed the American flag high up on the ladder. This was a great opportunity to say thanks to all those who made the ultimate sacrifice.”

Providing the ceremony’s invocation was Marine Corps League Chaplain Barbara Temple.

“Lord, we thank you for the many blessings you have bestowed upon our country,” Temple said. “We are grateful for the privilege of living in a free nation, dedicated to the welfare and concern of its people. Let us continue to obey Your will by respecting the rights and dignity of all people. May our people continue to have the moral courage and vision to commit themselves to the ideals of our nation’s founding fathers who believed in the dignity of each of God’s creatures. Thank you for Your special privilege of living in a free country.”

Temple’s husband Bruce, who is the commandant of the Pahrump Marine Corps League, also provided remarks.

“We had a beautiful day for today’s ceremony,” he said. “We are very grateful for all the people who came out, including service personnel, the sheriff’s office and the fire department, along with everyone who showed up for our service. We bestowed all of the area first responders with a Marine Corps League plaque because it’s very important to recognize all service to our country. They serve by rushing into emergency situations, while others run away from them. For that, we are extremely grateful.”

During his closing remarks, Chairman Koenig provided a few poignant words to those in attendance.

“It is the soldier, not the reporter, who has given us freedom of the press,” he noted. “It is the soldier, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech. It is the soldier, not the campus organizer, who has given us the freedom to demonstrate. It is the soldier who salutes the flag, who serves beneath the flag, and whose coffin is draped by the flag, who allows the protester to burn the flag. All gave some, some gave all. Let us remember them this Memorial Day. God bless you and your families, God bless our troops, and God bless America.”

Contact reporter Selwyn Harris at sharris@pvtimes.com. On Twitter: @pvtimes

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