Boulder City cemetery still flush with flags and honor, despite COVID-19’s destruction

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — American flags fly above fallen heroes on a warm Memorial Day in Boulder City.

“It gets my heart. It’s really nice. It’s very touching. It’s amazing to see,” said Sean McConnell, at the cemetery to visit his father’s grave.

“He was in the Air Force, and he was in the Korean War,” McConnell said.

McConnell’s father is one of the thousands buried at the Southern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Boulder City, a popular place on this holiday to honor those who served and sacrificed for our country.

“We want to be among our brothers and sisters that fought because these people are one of the reasons why we’re still here,” said Ben Hernandez, who served in Vietnam from 1965-1968

Services to observe Memorial Day were different because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Instead of a public event, the Nevada Department of Veterans Services released a virtual remembrance online.

Gov. Steve Sisolak also came by privately to lay a wreath in a small ceremony.

“Very heartwarming to actually see the respect that is given to our veterans,” said Edris Valdez, whose father is a veteran.

COVID-19 also changed the flag placement tradition. The department and partner organizations canceled the event to properly follow CDC guidelines.

“This year we had to call it off because of the virus and a lot of our veterans are older veterans,” said Fred Wagar of Veterans Services.

Another group ignored the department, and placed roughly 10,000 flags on the property.

“They weren’t happy with our decision and so they came out,” Wagar said. “They didn’t cover the (entire) cemetery.”

But the focus for everyone: the men and women here.

Never forgetting their fight for our freedom.

“Everybody still cares you know,” McConnell said.

Anyone visiting the cemetery is asked to wear a mask and social distance.

The Nevada Department of Veterans Services estimates 10,000 people visit the cemetery each year, and the COVID-19 pandemic does not seem to be affecting that number.

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