Veterans honored at Virginia City parade
Nevada Appeal Staff Writer
Mo Devereaux of Carson City stood on the Virginia City boardwalk in his Marine Corps Class A uniform Tuesday.
Though this Marine hadn’t been in the Corps since 1972, the wool battle jacket of his youth fit him like a glove.
“I still feel like a Marine although it was 59 years ago when I enlisted,” said Devereaux, 75, who retired after 23 years with the rank of gunnery sergeant.
The Carson City man was among dozens who walked during the Virginia City Veterans Day parade.
People lined the streets and crowded the boardwalk to show their support for active and former members of the U.S. Armed Forces.
Forty-six entries participated in the 40-minute jaunt down C Street. Among those was the Carson City Middle School Marching Band. Some participants walked in honor of family members who have passed. Others joined their grandparents and parents, who made the journey through the heart of Virginia City in a wheelchair, decades older, but with their pride shining brightly in their smiles.
The grand marshall, Stephen Hays of Carson City, was a bomber pilot during World War II. He flew a B24 as the lead sortie in the group that dropped the atomic bomb on Nagasaki Japan, effectively ending World War II.
Robert Hall, 82, of Fallon decided to don his actual uniform as well. It was in pristine condition, save for the tiny moth holes that inconspicuously dotted the OD green Army jacket and pants.
“My first sergeant said when he gave me this uniform, ‘Take care of that, it’s government issue,’ and I did,” Hall said with a wink.
A flirt, Hall joked that he was in Virginia City “trying to find one of those old lady’s with purple hair who make cookies.” But he sat upright and proud, his uniform as crisp as the day it was issued to him some 64 years ago.
He talked of being a chief warrant officer and flying choppers. He said when a National Guard C130 flew over Main Street during the parade, that he could have “buzzed” the place with his Huey.
After 27 years in the Army, Hall retired in 1970 and began a business restoring antique planes.
But once a soldier always a soldier.
Just like once a Marine, always a Marine, said Devereaux, adding one small caveat.
“The young Marines we got in now are the best we ever had.”
In Carson City, a group of about 30 stood just after 3 p.m. in Lone Mountain Cemetery for a ceremony at Nevada’s only monument to Union soldiers.
Commander David A. Davis of the Gen. William Passmore Carlin Camp 25 of the Sons of the Unions Veterans of the Civil War, spoke to the crowd briefly, offering a history of the monument and the reason for the gathering.
“We are here today to remember the Civil War veterans buried here at Lone Mountain and to honor all veterans on this Veterans Day,” he said. “In life, these Civil War veterans missed out on the honor and recognition due all veterans on this special day.”
Davis noted that Armistice Day came into being in 1938 and was renamed Veterans Day in 1954.
“So while Veterans Day does honor them in death, I believe it would have also meant as much to them in life as it does to today’s veterans,” he said.
– Contact reporter F.T. Norton at email@example.com or 881-1213.