Keeping with tradition at the Veterans Memorial Cemetery
Memorial Day ceremonies went off without a hitch at the Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Fernley.
But the ceremonies got underway a little earlier in the day and were condensed to avoid large crowds and to follow social distancing guidelines.
Typically, there could be about 3,000 people at the event. Fewer people however, didn't mean a diminished purpose.
“Well as a Gold Star parent, my son is here and my husband who has passed away is here as well. It means a lot to be here for us,” said Sherry Zaehringer.
The change in schedule is a first for the cemetery which has been here since 1992.
Organizers really didn't know what to expect this Memorial Day with the COVID-19 pandemic.
“There's not going to be an organized flag placing ceremony this year, which is a first,” said Tom Draughon with the Nevada Veterans Coalition.
On Friday, a few flags were placed on graves.
Flags out in front of the cemetery were available for anyone who wanted to take one and place it on a plaque.
On any other Memorial Day, Boy Scout Troops would head to the cemetery and decorate 8,000 plus graves on Saturday in time for the ceremony.
But the circumstances weren't going to allow that to happen.
“The flags are going to happen,” said Frank Greenwood, with the Disabled American Veterans. “It may not happen through the traditional way. But, we as Americans and Nevadans we are going to make sure those flags get put out if we have to put every one out ourselves,” said Greenwood.
With the help of the Disabled American Veterans, other groups, and local residents, every grave was decorated with a flag in time for the Monday ceremonies.
Greenwood says it’s an effort to make sure no one forgets about the lives which helped make this country great.
While a group of Northern Nevadans was here in the morning, those numbers increased as the day wore on--perhaps never knowing the extra effort behind the scenes to keep the custom Memorial Day customary.