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Pahrump Candlelight Salute hosted in honor of Memorial Day

Memorial Day was observed nationally on Monday, May 27 and in the Pahrump Valley, it was truly a day of remembrance with an array of events to held to commemorate the occasion.

Capping off the day of ceremonies was the Disabled American Veterans Chapter #15, which hosted a Memorial Day Candlelight Salute just as dusk began to settle in around 6 p.m. that Monday evening.

Pahrump area veterans and residents gathered underneath the pergola at the Chief Tecopa Cemetery Veterans Memorial for the Memorial Day service, which included many of the ever-traditional aspects of a military ceremony as well as several guest speakers.

Disabled American Veterans Chapter #15 Commander Greg Cardarelli welcomed the crowd that evening and Chapter #15 Chaplain Doug Garlin gave the invocation before all rose to their feet, placed their hands over their hearts and recited the Pledge of Allegiance. The national anthem followed.

Disabled American Veteran Chapter #15 2nd Junior Vice Commander Steven Chase then gave a brief overview of the history of Memorial Day, which originally began in the 1800s as a “Decoration Day” and was meant to honor those killed in the Civil War. The observance was eventually renamed Memorial Day and was expanded to pay tribute to all those who have lost their lives in service to this country.

Guest speakers then took to the podium to deliver their speeches, including Nye County Commission Chairman John Koenig, Nye County Sheriff Sharon Wehrly and Undersheriff Michael Eisenloffel. U.S. Rep. Steven Horsford was in attendance as a guest speaker as well, making mention of his trip to the valley in a Twitter post. “Spent today remembering the brave men and women who sacrificed their lives to protect our freedoms and those who continue to serve and their families at the Historic Palm, Historic Woodlawn, Southern Nevada Veteran, and Chief Tecopa Cemeteries,” Horsford wrote. “We will never forget their service.”

The solemn wreath ceremony was conducted by the Disabled American Veterans Chapter #15 Auxiliary before organization members Cles Saunders and Richard Goldstein performed the heartrending Prisoner of War/Missing in Action ceremony, complete with bell ringing Garlin gave the benediction which was followed by a Sioux “Honor Song” in the Native American language, performed by Leroy and Joan Tyon. Tom Saitta’s performance of “Taps” brought the Candlelight Salute to a somber conclusion.

Contact reporter Robin Hebrock at rhebrock@pvtimes.com

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