Memorial Park remembers the fallen
May 30, 2017
More than 325 American flags fluttered in the breeze to the solemn sound of "Taps" while at least 50 attendees paid tribute to the fallen at Eastside Memorial Park on Monday.
Memorial Day is a day of remembrance for everyone who has died serving in the American armed forces. The holiday, originally known as Decoration Day, started after the Civil War to honor the Union and Confederate dead and became an official federal holiday in 1971.
Many Americans observe Memorial Day by visiting cemeteries or memorials, holding family gatherings and participating in parades like Gardnerville residents Nick Pickering and his 9-year-old son Teegan did Monday.
They said Memorial Day is about remembering the fallen and those who gave the great sacrifice so we can be here today.
"Memorial Day is an occasion of special importance to me, because it's a day for us to take a moment of silence in memory of all Americans who made the supreme sacrifice for the liberties we enjoy," said Eastside Memorial Park co-owner Nadia Shahin. "I will never forget to honor these heroes to whom we owe so much."
Todd Bachman, family service counselor at the park, presented the opening remarks during the ceremony, followed by the raising of the flag by Warren Ryan and Ted Henson, members of the Elks, WAVE and Fleet Reserve.
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As the men raised the flag, Skyler Bunn and Nathan Van-Wagenen of the Douglas High School Wind Ensemble played "Taps."
Cemetery owner Irene Shahin said the park has been honoring Veterans for years and enjoys hosting ceremonies to remember and show appreciation for their sacrifice.
"They (veterans) have done amazing things for us so I like to do things for them, to honor them," she said. " That's why we do this, to honor the military."
Jim Smith said he was honored and proud to be called to do the opening prayer for the ceremony.
"I cannot forget about you, who all are here taking part in this special ceremony," he said. "We are gathered here today to honor all our fallen military men and women. We pray that your sacred heart goes out to our living military as they protect us from all evil, please watch over them with your love and care and see that no harm comes to any of them. Show them your love for they are near and far from their families."
Dick and Patty Schawabe of Gardnerville were happy to see the community come together to honor the fallen.
"I think everyone has a veteran in their lives somewhere and that makes it meaningful for all," he said. "It's very pleasant to be out here and to see the community come together on this day. It's a beautiful service and a beautiful cemetery."
The larger flags, 65 in all, were placed by trustees from the Nevada Division of Forestry. Each of the flags that flies over the cemetery is from the casket of a veteran currently resting in the park.
The 268 miniature flags were placed by the Tahoe Douglas Elks.