Memorial Day ceremonies
Weekend activities for the Memorial Day weekend will be highlighted by traditional services at Churchill County’s three cemeteries and at the Northern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Fernley.
Memorial Services are scheduled on Monday at the Churchill County Cemetery at 11 a.m.; the Fallon Paiute-Shoshone Tribal Cemetery at noon; and The Gardens’ Veterans Cemetery at 1 p.m.
All Memorial Day ceremonies will have a 21-gun salute and taps, and all military service organizations in Churchill County will participate in the local events.
“This is very beneficial for the organizations to be involved. This shows our support for our fallen veterans,” said Jim Babb, veterans service officer for the Fallon office of the Nevada Office of Veterans Services.
Babb, who served three years ago as commandant for American Legion Post 16 in Fallon, is a member of the honor guard and has participated in ceremonies at the three cemeteries.
“The military at the base has also played a big part with veterans,” Babb added.
Sailors from Naval Air Station Fallon have participated in both local and Fernley ceremonies, said Babb.
Prior to Monday, the service organizations rely on volunteers to place flags on each veteran’s gravesite on Sunday at 8 a.m. and then pick up flags on Monday at 5 p.m.
The Veterans of Foreign Wars post on 405 S. Maine St., will serve breakfast to volunteers who place flags on Sunday.
At the Northern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Fernley, Gov. Brian Sandoval and Vietnam veteran Rick Shuster will be the speakers. The ceremony begins at 11 a.m.
As governor and the state’s commander-in-chief, Sandoval oversees the Nevada National Guard. A staunch supporter of the military, he traveled to Afghanistan twice to visit Nevada’s soldiers and airmen.
Shuster, who served in the U.S. Navy as a corpsman, is chairman of the Board of Directors for the Vietnam Veterans Association, chapter 989.
Also, some businesses will be closed on Monday: state, federal, county, and city offices will be closed in addition to Western Nevada College, Churchill County School District and most financial institutions. NAS Fallon will also be operating on a holiday schedule.
The unsettled late May weather may hinder crowd this weekend at local lakes and campsites.
The National Weather Service is predicting a chance of rain and thunderstorms through the weekend with highs nearing 70.
Camping will be open at all state parts this weekend, said Jennifer Ramella, public information officer for the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources.
She said prescribed areas for campfires have been established at the parks. The Lahontan State Park website also has a warning for people visiting the reservoir: “All boat launches are unavailable due to low lake levels. Launching can only be done from the beach at your own risk. Decreasing water levels continually expose new rock and sand bar hazards; extreme caution is advised for boats pulling skiers or traveling at higher speeds.”
Ramella said the Lahontan park ranger told her people have been launching their boats from the shore, but she has this warning.
“As the lake level goes down, more hazards are appearing,” she said.
Ramella said campfires are allowed on the beach or in rings.
On Saturday from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. the state park will offer a canoe trip that starts just below the Lahontan Dam and runs along the Carson River to the Irrigation Diversion Dam. Canoes, paddles and life jackets will be provided, but participants will need to bring sunscreen and drinking water; a sack lunch is optional. Space is limited, so call 775-867-3500 for reservations.
Lahontan Dam River Camp is located at 16799 Lahontan Dam Road. From Highway 50, between Silver Springs and Leetville Junction, turn south onto Lahontan Dam Road. Continue on Lahontan Dam Road past the bridge, over the Carson River and stay on the paved road to the main entrance of the park.
At Fort Churchill State Historical Park 8 miles south of Silver Springs, fires are permitted only in designated fire rings, barbecues or approved portable stoves. Visitors should supply their own firewood. The park has 20 campsites.
Rye Patch State Recreation Area has 47 campsites, fires are allowed only in designated grills and fireplaces. Ramella said boats are still launching at Rye Patch, and fishing is beginning to pick up.
“Our ranger doesn’t expect Rye Patch to be full this weekend because of the weather,” she said.