63°F
weather icon Clear

Veterans honored, armistice remembered

Nearly 100 years to the moment after World War I officially ended, the sacrifices made by those who fought and died in the battle, along with those who served in every war before and after, were honored during ceremonies Sunday, Nov. 11, at the Nevada State Veterans Home.

Kat Miller, director of the Nevada Department of Veterans Services, said the annual observance, held on the anniversary of the end of the war to end all wars, is especially fitting for those from the Battle Born state.

She said 1,500 men from Nevada, which had a population of about 8,100 at the time, served in the war. Of those, 195 were killed.

Their memory lived on as a program listing each of their names was distributed to those attending.

A special proclamation issued by Gov. Brian Sandoval honoring the centennial of the armistice was read and each person attending was given a commemorative pin marking the anniversary.

As Miller introduced guests and dignitaries, she said “our most distinguished visitors are not visitors. They are residents of the Nevada State Veterans Home.”

The residents, bundled to protect themselves from the chilling wind, shared their patriotism by singing loudly during a rendition of “God Bless America” and sporting red, white and blue attire.

“We owe (veterans) a debt of gratitude that can never be repaid,” said Rep. Jacky Rosen, who expressed her appreciation for veterans’ service.

“Perhaps the most rewarding part of the trip, … involved meeting the remarkable veterans at the veterans home,” said keynote speaker Patrick K. O’Donnell, a combat historian and best-selling author. “These men and women are living national treasures — they fought in the jungles of Guadalcanal, the frozen tundra of Korea’s Chosin Reservoir, Vietnam and Iraq,” he said.

O’Donnell spoke about his latest book, “The Unknowns: The Untold Story of America’s Unknown Soldier and WWI’s Most Decorated Soldiers Who Brought Him Home,” which tells the story of the war, putting readers in the middle of battles and trenches, as he introduces the eight heroic veterans who were selected by Gen. John Pershing to carry the body of the Unknown Soldier when he was laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery.

One of those men, Harry Taylor, was from Nevada and served in the Wild West (91st Infantry) Division that helped drive the German across the Escaut River in France, he said.

“Largely made up of Nevada soldiers, this unit took on an impossible objective: to crack a segment of the Hindenburg Line manned by some of the Imperial German Army’s toughest troops — a suicide mission. The Wild Westerners attacked across a mile-long open field, braving hundreds of machine guns, barrages of German artillery and deadly poison gas — and they succeeded.”

O’Donnell, who was embedded with a Marine rifle platoon during the Battle of Fallujah, survived several ambushes and carried a mortally wounded Marine out of a fight with Chechen insurgents.

He said he felt a connection between Iraq War and World War I veterans as both were unrecognized for their efforts, which helped lead him to his most recent book, and he was honored to deliver the keynote address.

Hali Bernstein Saylor is editor of the Boulder City Review. She can be reached at hsaylor@bouldercityreview.com or at 702-586-9523. Follow @HalisComment on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
Forecast projects 30-plus-foot drop in 2 years at Lake Mead

Lake Mead’s water level is projected to drop more than 30 feet in the next two years, and the Southern Nevada Water Authority is urging people to continue conserving water.

Transportation issues forces changes to school hours

Several schools in Boulder City will be affected by the district’s recent decision to change the start and end times at some campuses in order to improve transportation.

Process to report mask mandate violations established

Nevada’s mask mandate is still in effect, and the state’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration office has created a way for people to report alleged violations.

District implements 5-day pause

The Clark County School District is implementing a five-day pause for all classes and school activities due to extreme staffing issues because of the high number of positive COVID-19 cases.

Motion for special fund to build development’s storm drain fails

Boulder City will not move forward with creating a special improvement district to pay for infrastructure improvements to a piece of land marked for sale despite the mayor requesting staff research the process.

Interim evaluations eliminated; timing puts focus on annual reviews

The city manager and city attorney will not have interim performance evaluations after City Council approved removing the requirement from their contracts and to just move forward with annual reviews.

Lake Mead not affected by planned water releases

Water operations at Lake Mead will not be affected by a reduction in the monthly water releases from Glen Canyon Dam in Arizona, according to Bureau of Reclamation officials.

New Townsite Solar project lauded

The recently completed Townsite Solar + Storage project will provide another avenue for Boulder City to purchase power, as well as bring in millions of dollars of revenue.

Historian, Nevada native to lead train museum

The Nevada Division of Museums and History has selected historian Christopher MacMahon as the new director of the Nevada State Railroad Museum in Boulder City.