Reflections: Home means Nevada

It seems like yesterday when Nevada celebrated its sesquicentennial, a testimony to the state and its reflection on the past and its anticipation toward the future.

We remember Nevada’s admission as the 36th state on Oct. 31, 1864, and consequently, the territory emerged as Battle Born. What made the state unique in its early days were its residents. Once recognized as independent thinkers, Nevadans followed their beliefs, not those of any particular persuasion. They loved their state as do many of its modern-day residents, bound by common threads of loyalty and empathy. We witnessed these traits earlier this month when residents from every corner of the Silver State rallied behind Las Vegas after a mass shooting claimed 59 lives and injured more than 500. In Northern Nevada, residents from many communities gave blood to replenish the depleted supplies, volunteered their time to help wherever needed or donated millions of dollars to help victims.

Church bells tolled in another sign of unity, marking the remembrance of those who died and of the many first-responders and other good Samaritans who unselfishly saved lives while putting their own lives in peril.

It’s this same Nevada spirit that rallied around Northern Nevada communities during the winter and spring when heavy snow produced unprecedented threats of flooding. Volunteers, first-responders and the Nevada National Guard worked around the clock to ensure communities and their residents were safe.

On this Nevada Day, let’s also celebrate the entire Silver State and its people from the pristine beauty of Elko and White Pine counties to the shores of Lake Tahoe to the desert beauty in Southern Nevada. We are fortunate to call Nevada home.

Follow the lead of Nevada Magazine when it enticed its readers several years ago to visit as many unique locations, some very remote and off the paved roads, in either the northern or southern tiers of the state.

Outside of Reno and Las Vegas lies another Nevada of small cities and one-gas station towns to historic ghost towns dotted within the pockets of remote valleys. High above Wells in northeastern Nevada tower the Ruby Mountains and remote lakes and foliage showing the hues of autumn. Further south is Great Basin National Park, shadowed by the majestic Wheeler Peak. In central Nevada are the historic mining towns of Austin and Eureka along U.S. Highway 50 and farther south in Nye County is Tonopah, a town where legends — and millions of dollars — were made. Tucked along these lonely two-lane highways that crisscross the state are small communities and landmarks with unusual names such as Pioche or Pahrump or the Pahranagat or Amargosa valleys.

Southeast of Reno and nestled in the mountains is Virginia City, once a thriving community noted for its silver discoveries in the late 1850s. The Comstock tells of a time when hundreds — if not thousands — of people flocked there to find wealth. Take in the crisp, cool morning air while driving through the rich farm lands of Churchill, Lyon, Pershing and Douglas counties. Visit a museum in your community to learn more about our past. Attend the annual Nevada Day parade on Saturday to celebrate the past, present and future.

Southern Nevada has its distinct desert beauty with scenes of the sun slowly rising over Lake Mead or flowers blooming among the sagebrush and along the rivers during the early spring.

Happy birthday Silver State. Home does mean Nevada.

Editorials appear Wednesdays in the LVN.


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