Memorial Day 2012: Public Ceremony, Private Moments

FERNLEY, NV - Memorial Day was observed at the Northern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery, as it is every year and as it should be, with speeches, prayers and appropriate ceremony.

The large crowd drawn from different generations.shared these public moments

Their private thoughts thought turned individually to a father, mother,son, daughter or friend lying out on the grassy grounds of the cemetery.

Out there each resting spot marked with a flag. Today many had flowers. George McAuliffe's family brought his picture.

"The kids like to do that," says his son, Andrew.

"He was a good man and he loved his grandchildren who miss him immensely. It's just an opportunity to get together and spend some time with my dad."

McAuliffe was a artillery man in Korea, service that left him with some hearing loss for the rest of his life.

Sandy Ahrens' father, Gus Hermann, was wounded in New Guinea during World War 2.

The army sent his mother his dog tags telling her her son was dead. She knew better.

"My grandmother had a dream that he'd been shot up, but he was rescued by natives," she says.

And that's what happened. Hermann survived, returned home, met Sandy's mother, married and raised a family. He carried some of the shrapnel in his back to his grave.

Margaret Nascimento was carefully trimming the grass at her husband John's grave when we found her.

Both were in Hawaii during the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, but only met later when she began writing the young infantry man who was her brother's friend.

She saw him leave again for that war. Then Korea. then Vietnam.

John Nascimento survived that all three. They were married for 67 years.

Margaret Nascimento makes this trip often. Sometimes her family has the place mostly to themselves. Monday they had plenty of company.

"I'm proud of all of them. All these people who have their lives for our country."


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