Carson remembers veterans year round

The sign says, "All Veterans Welcome." With that philosophy, veterans have been coming to the Heroes Memorial Hall since it opened in 1921.

Mayor A.B. Gray and Gov. Emmet D. Boyle dedicated the building located behind the Attorney General's Office for use by former servicemen.

"Gov. Boyle and Mayor Gray dedicated that building to the Heroes Memorial," said John Nulty, who served during World War II. "The legion was the only group active in 1917."

At one time the building at Curry and Second Streets served as the state veterans' office, Nulty said.

"We got a nice hall and we've got a lot of veterans that meet now," Nulty said. "Frankie Sue Del Papa been wonderful to us."

According to Jonathan Andrews of the Nevada Attorney General's Office, the memorial building was relocated to the annex when it was remodeled in 1975.

The present space has been used since 1977, he said.

"When the building was remodeled in 1975, there was a memorandum of understanding that was executed between then-Attorney General Robert List, the state public works board, the American Legion, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars agreeing that the space be relocated to the first floor of the annex to the Heroes Memorial Building."

Navy veteran Ron Kruse says many veterans organizations besides the Legion and the VFW use the hall for meetings today.

"It used to be on the second floor (but) because of the problems of veterans getting up and down, they dedicated the area below for veterans to use," he said.

While Memorial Day is to honor the fallen, it is the living who have to do the work.

That fact is painfully obvious to Nulty, who at 90 is finding it difficult to keep up with the work required to observe Memorial Day.

"These veterans are getting too old to put those flags out without any help," he said of the annual decoration of graves at Lone Mountain Cemetery by veterans. "I've been doing it myself for years."

Kruse said that as time passes veterans' groups average age is climbing.

"With 115 members the average age of the post is 76," he said. "You're lucky if 10 guys show up for a meeting."

Carson City celebrated its first Memorial Day in 1870 when soldiers from the Grand Army of the Republic laid a wreath and flowers on the graves of Civil War soldiers.

More than 1.3 million military personnel fighting for America have died in action since the country's founding. World War I claimed 53,000 Americans, World War II 300,000, Korea 55,000 and Vietnam 58,000.

The day was observed May 30 until it moved to the last Monday in May in 1971.

If you go

What: Memorial Day ceremonies

Where: Lone Mountain Cemetery

When: 1 p.m. firing volley and taps, 2 p.m. honor guard and speakers


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