Eastside Memorial Park salutes veterans | RecordCourier.com

Eastside Memorial Park salutes veterans

More than 300 American flags at Eastside Memorial Park waved in salute for Veterans Day on Friday.

"It's very special to us and people enjoy that we do it," Eastside Memorial Park owner Irene Shahin said.

Shahin said the cemetery has been honoring veterans for at least 30 years and they host ceremonies to show appreciation every Veterans Day and Memorial Day.

At least 270 miniature flags were placed on grave sites by the Tahoe Douglas Elks and the larger flags, 65 in all, were placed by trustees from the Nevada Division of Forestry.

Each of the large flags that flies over the cemetery is from the casket of a veteran currently resting in the park.

One of those flags was raised on the cemetery's flagpole during the ceremony in honor of World War II Navy veteran Richard Barnard.

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"He was the most recent veteran to be buried here, so as tradition we raised his flag in honor of him," said the cemetery's co-owner Nadia Shahin.

Barnard's daughters Linda Byers and Laura Leonard were present at the ceremony.

"It's such an honor," said Byers. "We are proud the flag was honored today and we are very proud of our father too."

Barnard was on the USS Mississippi, and his ship had battle stars, meaning it had been hit, Byers said.

"He rarely told us about his experience in the military, but when he did we were so proud to hear about it," said Byers.

For more than 90 years Americans have reserved Nov. 11 to remember those who have served the country.

In it's 99th year of commemoration, the Department of Veterans Affairs is broadening the tradition of observance and appreciation to include both veterans and military families for the entire month of November.

During the ceremony, Eastside Memorial Park announced that "The Moving Wall," a half-size replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington D.C., will visit Douglas County for the first time next spring.

The wall which has been in circulation around the country since 1984, will land in Minden the week following Memorial Day.

"Eastside Memorial Park is proud to sponsor the wall's visit to our community," said Nadia Shahin. "Eastside Memorial Park seeks to honor veterans and facilitate a healing experience for the friends and families of those who died or are missing in Vietnam.

It's local presence will also create the opportunity to educate younger generations about the war and its impact on our nation."

Eastside Memorial Park is currently seeking sponsors and volunteers to help support The Moving Wall's visit.

For more information contact Nadia Shahin of Eastside Memorial Park at info@esmp.co.