Ceremonies conclude annual Memorial Day remembrances | NevadaAppeal.com

Ceremonies conclude annual Memorial Day remembrances

Geoff Dornan/Nevada AppealLt. Robert Bledsaw addresses the audience at Lone Mountain Cemetery's

A weekend of Memorial Day events wrapped up Monday with services for the fallen at Stewart Indian Cemetery and Lone Mountain Cemetery.

Joe Beben of Carson City said he comes to the services at Lone Mountain every year.

“I come to remember five guys I worked with in Vietnam,” he said. “To pay tribute to them.”

All five of his friends, he said, died in the Tet Offensive Jan. 1, 1968.

Maggie Lizarraga of Carson City said she doesn’t have anyone specific to mourn at the event.

“It’s the least I can do … to acknowledge those who died so the less noble types can spew their crap,” she said.

Phyllis Atkinson said she brought her son to the event for several years to participate in the ceremonies as a cadet.

“Now he’s a Marine,” she said. “You start thinking about it a little differently when your son’s in there.”

Lisa Martinovich said her nephew Philip, son of NDOT Director Susan Martinovich, was wounded by an improvised explosive device but has since returned to duty.

“He almost lost his foot but he’s walking and re-upped,” she said.

They were among the roughly 200 who turned out at Lone Mountain and 100 who attended the Stewart ceremonies Monday.

At Stewart, volunteers decorated every grave with fresh-cut flowers, creating a blaze of color as the Junior Navy ROTC color guard presented the flag. The day was overcast and cooler for the afternoon ceremony at Lone Mountain, where gravesites were each marked with a small flag.

Mayor Bob Crowell, a former Navy captain, told the audience Memorial Day isn’t just for those who have given their lives in the nation’s military service.

“For every name on the Vietnam wall, for every headstone in this cemetery, there is someone left behind,” he told the audience.

Yolanda Garcia of Sen. Harry Reid’s office told the Stewart audience that, sadly, five more Nevadans have been added to the list of casualties in the past year. They are Private Nicolas Gideon, 20; Specialist Thomas Lyons, 20; Private Kevin Thomson, 22; Specialist Kimble Han, 30; and Specialist Matthew Huston, 24.

“We honor these five men and comfort their loved ones, families for whom Memorial Day will forever have new meaning,” said Reid in a statement read at both ceremonies.