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Ceremonies to mark Memorial Day

This weekend there will be several ceremonies in town to mark Memorial Day and honor those who gave their lives in service to our nation.

The first ceremony takes place Sunday. Starting at 9 a.m., motorcyclists will begin gathering on the Arizona side of Hoover Dam for the 20th annual Flags Over the Dam run. More than 500 riders traditionally participate, with as many as 1,500 expected for the event sponsored by the Vietnam and Legacy Vets Motorcycle Club.

The motorcycles will leave the dam at 10 a.m. and travel along U.S. Highway 93 heading toward the Southern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery, 1900 Veterans Memorial Drive, where a service will be held. Representatives from Army Special Forces and Green Berets will help lead the ceremony.

All motorcyclists are invited to participate; however, they must be on the Arizona side of the dam by 9:30 a.m.

American Legion Post 31 will hold a Memorial Day ceremony at 9 a.m. Monday at Boulder City Cemetery, 551 Adams Blvd.

During the ceremony, the Patriotic Singers will perform “America the Beautiful” and “God Bless America.” The choir features children from Boulder City. They will be accompanied by Pam Murphy on the violin and Jane Douglas on the guitar. Vanessa Reinhart will help lead the group.

Prior to the ceremony, members of the post’s auxiliary will decorate the graves of veterans. They will be there from 3-5 p.m. Sunday and volunteers are welcome to help. There are more than 400 veterans buried in the cemetery.

The Nevada Department of Veterans Services will present a Memorial Day ceremony at 1 p.m. Monday in the chapel at the Southern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery, 1900 Veterans Memorial Drive.

Post 777 Highlanders, Scottish-American Military Society, is coordinating this year’s program. Guest speakers will be Gov. Brian Sandoval and Staff Sgt. Mark Dowd, who served in Operation Enduring Freedom and is son of post commander Tim Dowd of Las Vegas.

Additionally, there will be a choral group, a memorial firing guard and the playing of taps.

The Junior Reserve Officer’s Training Corps from Las Vegas High School will present the colors, said Bob Garlow, a life member of the Scottish-American Military Society, state commander for the Veterans of Foreign Wars and emcee for the Memorial Day ceremony.

Once the ceremony concludes inside the chapel, it will move outside, where members of a veterans flying group from Boulder City will conduct a flyover.

At the conclusion, guests will be asked to help gather all the flags that mark veterans’ graves at the cemetery.

The flags will be set up starting at 7 a.m. Saturday. Volunteers are sought to help place 24,000-25,000 flags at individual grave sites.

According to Garlow about 400 people are needed to place the flags, and with enough help it should take less than one hour. A quick informational session from 7-7:30 a.m. will provide instructions for proper placement.

At 3 p.m. Monday, the American Legion will present its fourth annual Memorial Day Remembrance Ceremony. A siren will sound and taps will be played. The group asks that everyone stop what they are doing and stand at attention while taps is played to honor those who died in service to our country.

In preparation for Memorial Day, members of the American Legion Auxiliary, Post 31, will be distributing poppies at various locations Friday and Saturday. The red crepe paper poppies are handmade by veterans as part of their therapeutic rehabilitation and given in exchange for donations that go directly to assist disabled and hospitalized veterans.

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