weather icon Mostly Cloudy

Veterans remembered, honored with wreaths

Shirley Malinowski got down on her right knee, her left hand gently caressing the wreath laid in front of her late husband’s grave at the Southern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery.

As the lingering gray clouds from the previous night’s storm scattered across the Boulder City sky, Malinowski spoke softly of her late husband, Ronald, a Korean War veteran who died from colon cancer in 2010.

For Malinowski, placing the forest green wreath with the light red bow, identical to the thousands strewn across the Southern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery is a pleasant experience, even though sadness made it all possible.

Saturday was the annual Wreaths Across America ceremony, a nationwide event where friends and family honored veterans by placing a wreath on their graves.

Cemetery Superintendent Chris Naylor said 944 wreaths were placed this year in Boulder City, 150 more than the year before. And Wreaths Across America representative Amber Caron said about 700,000 graves across the country, including some overseas, received a wreath this year. Last year, that number was 525,000.

“It’s like keeping a memory alive, and it’s a peaceful memory,” Malinowski said. “It’s beautiful when you see all these wreaths out here. All of those who passed away and gave their lives, and to know they’re remembered. People don’t realize that you come out here and it’s actually a happy place. You see everybody here honoring everybody.”

Ronald Malinowski served three years in the Korean War as a sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps. Malinowski said her husband described his military experience as the best time of his life.

“Other than being married to me,” she said with a soft laugh. “It was something he felt honored to do, and he made great friends he carried on through the years.”

About five years ago, the Malinowskis came to the veterans cemetery for a funeral. Shirley Malinowski said her husband had been incredibly moved by the ceremony. Though he was always fascinated by Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia, Ronald told his wife he wished to be buried in Boulder City.

“It was such a relief when we came out (to the cemetery) and he said, ‘You know, this will be good,’ ” Malinowski said.

Six months later, at age 78, Ronald died of colon cancer.

Joel Forman and Bob Jagemann of American Legion Post 76 in Summerlin come out every year to place wreaths on graves during Wreaths Across America. Forman, who served in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War, said although the event marks a solemn day, it’s an honor for him to recognize those who fought and died to protect America’s freedoms.

Jagemann, who served in the Vietnam War as a member of the U.S. Navy from 1965-71, said he’ll always have stories about fighting in the war.

“They are stories I will have forever, and a lot of them are still very tearful,” he said. “We both had friends who didn’t come back (from Vietnam), and had a lot of friends we’ve lost since, so we’re happy to be alive and happy to come do whatever we can do to help out.”

Although nothing can bring her husband back, Malinowski said she knows how important it is to keep his memory alive.

Hundreds of wreaths had been placed since the 9 a.m. ceremony began, and as the cool December breeze slowly picked up, Malinowski looked skyward to see planes flying over the cemetery — a sign of respect for veterans who had died.

A smile crossed Malinowski’s face as she remembered her late husband.

“Every time these airplanes fly over, it’s a nice remembrance. You’re never forgotten,” she said.

Contact reporter Steven Slivka at sslivka@bouldercityreview.com or at 702-586-9401. Follow @StevenSlivka on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Schools report smooth return

Parents can finally exhale after a long summer of kids in the house as school is back in session in Boulder City. On Monday, Aug. 8, all four schools in town welcomed back students for the 2022-23 school year in an orderly fashion without any mishaps.

Council OKs plan to remove turf

Water was once again the main focus for City Council. At its meeting Tuesday, Aug. 9, an agreement with the Southern Nevada Water Association that will remove turf in Boulder City to save on water was approved 4-0 by the council.

Council gets first look at Nevada Way remodel

The Boulder City Council was introduced to a project that will remodel and rehabilitate the stretch of Nevada Way from Wyoming to Park streets during its meeting Tuesday, Aug. 9.

More human remains found at Lake Mead

More human remains have been found at Lake Mead, according to officials at the national recreation area.

Fire department targets sites to improve response times

Two locations are being targeted for a new Boulder City Fire substation that the City Council approved last month to help the department improve response time to emergencies. The proposed new fire station, labeled Station 122, is looking at sites at Quartzite Road and Nevada Way as well as near the library at 701 Adams Boulevard. The city owns land in both locations.

Ex-manager sues city; claims retaliation

Former City Manager Al Noyola filed a lawsuit against the city Friday, July 29, alleging that his civil rights were violated when he was fired Oct. 13, 2020.

School begins Monday

School is almost back in session for the quartet of schools in Boulder City.

Storms cause minor damage

Monsoon season brought damage to Boulder City as the town was hit with a collection of storms last week. Luckily, the city was able to handle the storms in an efficient manner, according to officials, who dealt with the typical gravel and rock erosion, power outages and roof leaks.

Lend A Hand awarded $101K from state

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the state of Nevada has awarded $30 million in Community Recovery Grants to nonprofit organizations including Lend A Hand of Boulder City. The local organization was one of the 30-plus applicants that received money funded by American Rescue Act Plan dollars.

Drought drives tough talks to cut water use

Nevada and two of its neighboring Southwestern states are still working on ways to drastically cut water use from the Colorado River as a deadline set by the federal government to address the worsening conditions along the river quickly approaches.