“They have lost a lot. For some of these people, and I won’t say names, it’s like saying hi to their loved ones,” Ed Sturges said of the members of the Ely community who know all to well the meaning of sacrifice.
Sturges gave a speech on Memorial Day to those families, and many others that showed up to a ceremony held at the World War II Memorial in front of the White Pine Courthouse. In his speech, he spoke of remembrance, honoring those who have fallen defending the country in the military as well as those that continue to do so every day.
“This is a military town,” Sturges said. “I just wanted to get the point across that days like today are important. If those men hadn’t done what they did, things would have ended up differently, and we might not be here today.”
Ken Curto, a member of the local American Legion post, told a story about a young boy who found $20 in the street, and instead of spending it, handed it to a veteran and thanked him for his service.
“It means giving back. I and many others were lucky enough to make it back. Some didn’t. So it is up to me to give back and to honor their memory,” Curto said.
The ceremony paid tribute to local and national veterans through patriotic singing from the community choir, as well as the sounds of the bugle. County Commissioner Richard Howe spoke about his recent trip to Washington D.C. as part of the Honor Flight that ended up bringing three local WW II veterans to see the national war memorials in the capital.
In his trip, he said he saw a quote on the back of someone’s tee-shirt that stood out to him and seemed fitting for a holiday such as Memorial Day.
“It read ‘If you can read this, thank a teacher. If you can read this in English, thank a veteran’,” Howe recited.
After the ceremony ended, the Veterans for Foreign Wars post held an open to the public barbecue to raise money for their high school scholarship fund.