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State veterans’ memorial still in f lux

Last month I wrote about a possible move of the veterans’ memorial from its long-time location adjacent to the Grant Sawyer building to the veterans’ cemetery in Boulder City.

I was incorrect in calling it the Las Vegas memorial. The official name is the Nevada State Veterans’ Memorial, as several veterans who have visited the location have noted.

The Sawyer building itself is said by some to be in disrepair, and some government offices there are considering relocating. In fact, the Nevada Department of Veterans Services has already done so. The office has recently moved into new digs on Bermuda Road in Las Vegas.

There are many veterans who are against moving the memorial, however. While as a group they have yet to come up with a new potential location, their reasoning is that they feel it should be in a more visible and accessible area so that more individuals can view it. However, there are those who say the cemetery is in fact such a location.

Boulder City Mayor Joe Hardy was asked his views on the subject. He pointed out that if the memorial is moved to the veterans’ cemetery, it would actually be placed across the street from the burial grounds on Buchanan Boulevard., on land that the city currently owns.

He said the city is amenable to turning over the land for such a project. And he feels that the location would prove more popular than its current Las Vegas site next to the Sawyer Building. (For the record, the late Grant Sawyer was a popular Nevada governor who I was fortunate to briefly meet when I moved to Nevada in 1988.

He was honored to have the building named after him and I’m sure he would be appalled to know that the edifice is supposedly in disrepair.)

Hardy said that the thousands of veterans and their families who visit the cemetery each year would also take time to visit the memorial if it were located across the street.

In addition, he said that any move should be discussed with the artist who designed the project — Douwe Blumberg.

He is quoted on the memorial’s website saying he wanted the monument to be a history lesson as well as a bonding opportunity. Designed to honor the spirit and memories of those who fought for the United States, the memorial connects the past of the nation with present audiences in Las Vegas.

By depicting the people who fought in various conflicts, the monument provides an example of what it can mean to enable connections on a personal level with events that can too often feel distant and detached.

The superintendent of the cemetery, Chris Naylor, told me that the cemetery is only one possible location under consideration for the memorial. As of this writing, the memorial has not moved.

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