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How Pahrump is remembering its heroes this Memorial Day weekend

Though it has become widely known as the unofficial kickoff of summer, two local veterans’ organizations are helping ensure the real meaning of Memorial Day is not lost among the fun of pool parties and cookouts.

The Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #10054 and the Disabled American Veterans Chapter #15 both have events slated for Memorial Day, a day that has been set aside for the purpose of honoring and mourning the brave men and women who gave their all in the name of freedom. Without those who have been willing to put their lives on the line through military service, America would not be the country that it is today.

Both VFW and DAV members are encouraging the community to take some time on Monday to reflect upon this fact and are encouraging residents to attend both organizations’ ceremonies, as well as the VFW’s Memorial Day Barbecue and formal Flag Retirement Ceremony.

VFW Memorial Day events

For the very first time, the VFW will be holding its Memorial Day celebration on the federally recognized holiday, which falls on May 27 this year. In years past, the post held true to the original date selected for Memorial Day, May 30, due to the national organization’s policy. However, things have now changed and the VFW is recognizing May 27 as Memorial Day, with the local post’s ceremony scheduled to kick off at 10 a.m. at 4651 Homestead Rd.

“Come join us during this solemn remembrance of those who gave the ultimate sacrifice,” enthused VFW Post #10054 Commander Steven Kennard, who will soon be turning over his leadership position. “This year’s ceremony will include the dedication of a new flag to remember prisoners of war and those missing in action, the POW/MIA flag, as well as those killed in action and those wounded in combat.”

After the ceremony draws to a close, attendees will be invited to stick around for the rest of the post’s Memorial Day celebration. There will be a barbecue beginning at 11:30 a.m., which will serve up some tasty eats, and all veterans will be treated to lunch free of charge. The day will include a flag retirement, too, giving area residents the chance to lay to rest their battered, worn and torn American flags will all due regard.

“We will be doing a Flag Retirement Ceremony at 12 noon, where we will retire flags with respect and dignity,” Kennard detailed. “As always, we will be allowing all who attend to retire a flag in honor of loved ones who have made the ultimate sacrifice for this great nation.”

DAV Memorial Day Ceremony

The DAV’s observance of the holiday will take place at 6 p.m. at the Pahrump Veterans’ Memorial, inside the Chief Tecopa Cemetery, 751 East Street.

Attendees will be greeted with a musical prelude, followed by a welcome from DAV Chapter #15 Commander Bill Dolan, who will also act as emcee for the event. Baron Samuel will provide the opening prayer and the Nye County Sheriff’s Office Honor Guard will once again take on the duty of presenting the colors. A recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance and the singing of the national anthem by Sheriff’s Captain Greg Curtin will lend an even more patriotic feel to the observance.

Three somber features have been incorporated into the event, the traditional Wreath Ceremony, Dog Tag Ceremony and POW/MIA Ceremony, which honors all those who have been prisoners or war or are missing in action. Cathy Girard will conduct the Wreath Ceremony, Richard Goldstein is tasked with placing the military ID tags and Girard will be joined by Dr. Tom Waters for the POW/MIA ceremony, during which the tolling of a bell will sound out, with Sterling “Rip” Ripley providing the bell ringing.

The ceremony will also include special remarks from guest speaker Fred Wagar, the director of the Nevada Dept. of Veterans Services, and conclude with a closing prayer and the playing of “Taps” by bugler Steven Hall.

For more information on the VFW’s Memorial Day events stop by the post or call 775-727-6072.

For more information on the DAV’s ceremony contact First Jr. Vice Commander Chad Lemons at 725-780-8297.

Contact reporter Robin Hebrock at rhebrock@pvtimes.com

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