A massive, silver-inlaid, leather bound book containing the names of more than 800 Nevada veterans who died in service to their country was unveiled in a ceremony behind the Capitol on Monday.
“It is a humble effort to try to honor you,” Gov. Brian Sandoval told the dozen Gold Star family members who attended the ceremony.
“This book will be a living memorial to all those who have fallen,” said Sandoval.
He said the names in the book date back as far as the Civil War and include every conflict the U.S. has been in since then up to and including Iraq and Afghanistan.
He said the Nevada Fallen Heroes book will be placed on permanent display on the main floor of the state Capitol for all to see.
“This is only our first effort to gather all the names of Nevadans who have died in battle,” Sandoval said.
He said it will be updated regularly as the fallen are identified.
The book itself is handmade by Clyde Jurey, a custom book binder and restorer in Wellington.
The stand was made by prison industries cabinet makers and the printing done in the State Printing Office. Jurey donated his work on the book and was thanked after the ceremony by a man who said his daughter’s name was one of the last Nevadans to die in battle.
While the public will be able to view it, they won’t be able to touch it since the book is encased in a custom made and locked stand to protect it.
Sandoval spokeswoman Mari St. Martin said the names will be posted on the Internet in the near future, most likely linked to the governor’s office home page for those who want to search the pages.
Caleb Cage, Sandoval’s director of military and veterans policy, said the farther back in time they went, the more difficult it was to find names. The Defense Department has kept good records from World War II forward but, before that, Cage said researchers had to get creative.
By the time they got back to the Civil War, he said they were relying on the muster rolls of Nevada volunteers.
“The grief of losing a family member never goes away, even with the passage of time,” Sandoval told a crowd of about 50 veterans and family members.
But he said he hopes the book as a living memorial, will honor those who died “in a way that has never been done before.”