CARSON CITY -- On a cold but sunny morning, Gov. Brian Sandoval placed a holiday wreath Monday in front of the Capitol to honor Nevadans who have died in America's wars.
Sandoval noted that only three months ago he participated in ceremonies honoring three Nevada National Guard members who were killed in a shooting at a Carson City IHOP restaurant.
He read a letter written by Jefferson Moses, a young man from Illinois who volunteered for the Civil War in 1862. Like Moses, other young people throughout history have volunteered to serve their country, though it could lead to them giving up their lives, Sandoval added.
"Nevada's history from statehood to our present time has been bracketed by war," Sandoval said. "Today, Nevadans bravely serve in Iraq and Afghanistan so the freedom will not perish from Earth."
Since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, 77 U.S. military personnel with ties to Nevada have died in the nation's wars overseas, most of them in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Wreaths Across America celebrations will be conducted this week at state capitals throughout the United States in honor of people who have died in wars. Wreaths were to be placed Saturday on each of the graves at Arlington National Cemetery outside of Washington, D.C.
The events have been conducted each December for the past five years by leaders of state and local chapters of the Daughters of the American Revolution.
Anita Parker, president of the Battle Born chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, presided over the wreath-laying ceremony, which was attended by eighth-grade students at St. Teresa of Avila School in Carson City.
Because of service members, Parker said, Americans "have the right to succeed and we have the right to fail at whatever endeavor we wish to pursue."
"The United States was founded on the ideas of freedom, justice and liberty," she said. "We thank those who have given their lives to keep us free."
Review-Journal writer Keith Rogers contributed to this report. Contact Capital Bureau Chief Ed Vogel at firstname.lastname@example.org or 775-687-3901.