The Northern Nevada Veterans Coalition has two events this autumn to recognize the men and women who served in the armed forces.
The NVC will give final honors to 16 veterans and one veteran’s spouse at a ceremony on Nov. 17 at 3 p.m. at the Northern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Fernley. The ceremony that begins at 3 p.m. will honor the 17 individuals for their service to the nation during war and the post-war era.
According to the NVC, the organization locates deceased veterans who have remained unclaimed or urns or boxes sitting on a mortuary’s shelf covered with dust and waiting for someone to come by and say, “We remember you, and we will give you the final honors with dignity that you deserved.”
The NVC said these are veterans who served during World War II, the wars in Korea and Vietnam and in peacetime.
“I urge everyone to join us in being the family for these veterans,” said Tom Draughon, NVC’s public information officer. “We don’t know the reason they have been left for so long in a cold dark place, but it is time to rectify that and place them, with so many of our other veterans at the Northern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery.”
The procession from Reno to Fernley will stage in the lot across from The Alamo in Sparks with lineup time at 12:30 p.m. and departure time to Fernley at 1:30 p.m.
The national program to lay wreaths at veterans’ gravesites started in 1992, but the NNVMC began the ceremony at Fernley in 2007 with 28 wreaths. The first crowd numbered 50.
During the past three years, the Fernley event needs more than 5,000 wreaths. The goal of the NVC is to place wreaths on every memorial, More than 1,000 people attended the one-hour ceremony in 2015, which coincided with the laying of wreaths at Arlington National Cemetery at noon, Eastern Time.
This year’s ceremony is one weekend later on Dec 17 at 9 a.m.
The donation to buy one wreath for placement is $15. Individuals may access the website http://www.supportnnvc.org/PDF/wreath_order_form.pdf to send in their donation.
The Northern Nevada Veterans Coalition has been involved in the Wreaths Across America project for eight years. In that first year, the coalition purchased 40 wreaths from the donations received from the community.
The national Wreaths Across America project encourages each volunteer who places a wreath on a veteran’s grave to say that veteran’s name aloud and take a moment to thank him or her.
“We are not here to ‘decorate graves.’ We’re here to remember not their deaths, but their lives,” said Karen Worcester, executive director of Wreaths Across America.