Carson City commemorated America’s fallen servicemen and women in a Memorial Day ceremony at Lone Mountain Cemetery.
“Today we remember and honor the men and women who gave their lives serving this country,” said Lt. Cdr. Robert Bledsaw, U.S. Naval Sea Cadet Corps, who officiated the midday event on Monday.
The ceremony included the presentation of colors by the Carson City Division and Training Ship UDD Carson City, PF50, U.S. Sea Cadet Corps, a rendition of “Amazing Grace” on the bagpipes by Bledsaw, and a riderless horse.
“His boots are reversed in the stirrups representing a departed a soldier looking back on those he leaves behind,” said Bledsaw.
Denise Berumen led the gathering in singing the National Anthem.
Berumen, whose two sons are in the service and are both currently stationed in Hawaii, was one of four speakers.
She told the story of when both of her sons first shipped out in 2012.
“That first Christmas without your boys is rough,” she said. “The box of decorations just sat next to the tree. I couldn’t decorate.”
And she remembered later watching her son Brett reenlist in the U.S. Army for five years and son Alex reenlist for four years in the U.S. Navy on the same day.
“I’m very, very proud of my boys,” Berumen said.
Berumen pointed out the dozens of flags adorning nearby graves.
“Every flag represents someone who gave their life for their country,” said Berumen.
Technical Sgt. Katherine Dew, Nevada Air National Guard, recounted her time in Europe commemorating the 70th anniversary of D-Day and Operation Neptune, the naval portion of the Normandy invasion operation known as Overlord.
“It was 20 days that will stick with me the rest of my life,” said Dew.
Staff Sgt. Elexia Hertel, Nevada Army National Guard, said that since 1775, 1.3 million American service members have died serving their country.
“Each one was a loved one, a loss in their community,” said Hertel. “We owe them an innumerable debt. We can start to repay that debt by never forgetting.”
Lt. Cdr. Dave Treinan, U.S. Navy, recognized veterans and their spouses at the ceremony.
“You’re great Nevadans and great Americans,” he said to everyone there.
Afterward, those in attendance said it was the best way to spend Memorial Day.
“I’m a very patriotic person,” said Sandra Miller, whose father, first and second husbands, and son all served in the military. “I can’t tell them how much I appreciate what they went through.”
Bill Brazil, a U.S. Navy veteran who served during the Vietnam War, said he attended to feel closer to those servicemen and women who sacrificed their lives.
“I come every year to honor the ones who fell before us. For friends and for ones I didn’t know,” said Brazil. “We had each others’ backs. I’m here to pay them homage.”