Memorial Day ceremony honors fallen soldiers
During her career in the U.S. Army, retired Sgt. 1st Class Linda Lindsay came to understand the cost of war.
“When I think of Memorial Day, I think of the friends I’ve lost to both combat and training,” she said. “It’s never easy to say goodbye to those you love.”
But it was a stranger’s sacrifice that made her truly aware of grief.
She shared that story with a crowd of about 200 people who gathered Monday at Lone Mountain Cemetery for the annual Memorial Day Ceremony.
Lindsay said she was called upon to notify a family that their son had been killed in action.
“That day, I saw a father and mother face the agony they had feared,” she said. “I saw them irrevocably change. I saw a part of them die.”
And she changed, too.
“I’ve thought about him often, even though I never met him,” she said. “Sometimes, I wonder what he’d be doing today. Would he have gone on to do great things? I don’t know. I do know his loss has changed me.”
Lindsay joined other speakers in urging the crowd to remember others, like this soldier, who died in service to their country.
“For many, Memorial Day is the official kickoff to summer, and they celebrate it with a three-day weekend,” said Lt. Robert Bledsaw, who officiated at the ceremony. “But for many – for those of us here – Memorial Day is much more than this.”
Assemblyman Kelly Kite, R-Douglas County, who served two tours in Vietnam, said it was important to recognize the service of those deployed, but also those who support them from home.
He learned that, he said, at the airport when his grandson was shipping out to Afghanistan.
“I saw tears in his mother’s eyes,” he recalled. “And I looked over and saw tears in his grandmother’s eyes. The same wet cheeks I saw when I left.
“For all of you who are left behind, I honor you, and by doing so, I think we honor those who have gone before us.”
Lindsay said that in preparing for her address, she canvassed friends and colleagues to determine the meaning of Memorial Day.
The answers, she said, included barbecues and mattress sales as well as honoring veterans who’d died in service of their country.
In the end, she found her own meaning.
“What does Memorial Day mean to me?” she asked. “Two words: ‘Thank you.'”
For your information
The Traveling Vietnam Wall will be coming to Carson City’s Mills Park on Oct. 25-28. Other activities will include Civil War and World War II re-enactments, a USO dance and gun show.
There will also be a pin-up pageant to find a modern-day “bomber girl.”
For more information, go to battleborndays.com or call (775) 846-1130.