A celebration of heroes: Comstock celebrates Memorial Day with parade, car show

Photos by Jim Grant / Nevada AppealPatriotism is prominent in Virginia City on Saturday.

Photos by Jim Grant / Nevada AppealPatriotism is prominent in Virginia City on Saturday.

Mother Nature not only rained on their parade, she had the audacity to snow on it Saturday.

While a full-blown snowstorm was not in force, the air was frigid and snow flurries swirled around the small parade of entries in the Celebration of Heroes Memorial Day Parade in Virginia City.

The weather didn't dampen the spirits of the six women from Unit 56 Carson City American Legion Auxiliary who were handing out poppies to raise funds for veterans.

"We're up here to distribute poppies for our veterans and soldiers. We come up here every Veterans Day and Memorial Day," said Nancy O'Malley. "We get donations for the poppies to help."

Dorothy Bolander said quite often they'll buy toiletries and socks for veterans in the Vet's Hospital in Reno.

"Our husbands are veterans, and I lost my grandson in Iraq so I'm a Gold Star Family," Bolander said.

The auxiliary also gives out poppies several times a year at Raley's in Carson City to help with the fundraising efforts.

Mike Locke of Stockton, Calif., said he was staying at David Walley's during the holiday weekend.

"We saw this was occurring so we thought we'd come up here, and one of our friends is a car buff, so we wanted to see the car show," he said.

The weekend on the Comstock also included a well-attended Battle Born Showdown car show, staged along E Street near the Ramada Virginia City. The event included food and vendor booths, and it continues today from noon-5 p.m.

Locke said Memorial Day is meaningful to him.

"It's important in terms of recognizing the sacrifices others have made on our behalf," he said.

Jean Montes, who said he and his wife Laura were visiting relatives and staying at Lake Tahoe, believes Memorial Day is an important holiday.

"It gives me an opportunity to be grateful for those served before me so I could choose whether I'd go to college or join the Marines,"

he said.

Montes, who retired in 2001 as a Gunnery Sergeant after serving 22 years in the U.S. Marine Corps., said he is grateful for the military.

"I see these guys and it's an everyday reminder of those who went out and served while I was a knucklehead deciding what I wanted to do," he said.

Tim Tuck of McMinnville, Ore., said he came to Reno on vacation, but friends from work had told him about Virginia City, so decided to come up. He said Memorial Day is a good time to reflect.

"I had relatives in wars. Some were killed and some weren't, but this is a day to celebrate their lives," Tuck said.


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