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The Spring Mountains Visitor Gateway grand opening celebrated the blending of ancestral Native American culture and American patriotism on the 128-acre campus just outside Las Vegas, Nevada.Guests checking in at the Spring Mountains Visitor Gateway grand opening, an invitation-only event held on May 29, 2015 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.Guests received a commemorative water bottle at the event that recognized many people’s tireless efforts and the beginning of a new chapter in the management and operation of the Spring Mountains National Recreation Area.The Southern Paiute Veterans Association Color Guard and United States Air Force Honor Guard from Nellis AFB presented the colors at the grand opening 10 a.m. program.Approximately 700 guests attended the grand opening of the Spring Mountains Visitor Gateway that was completed in spring 2015.The Cheyenne High School Madrigals sang ��America the Beautiful” and “Stars and Stripes Forever” during the grand opening program.Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest Supervisor Bill Dunkelberger welcomed guests to the Spring Mountains Visitor Gateway grand opening.Dr. Jeremy Spoon, The Mountain Institute, and Richard Arnold, Nuwuvi Working Group (shown), dedicated the Seven Stones Plaza that symbolizes the seven Southern Paiutes’ cultural ties to the Spring Mountains.Steve Ririe, Chair, Silent Heroes of the Cold War, was the Boy Scout leader who felt compelled to discover the mystery of the 1955 Air Force plane crash on Mt. Charleston.United States Senator Harry Reid, instrumental in both the Southern Nevada Public Lands Act funds that supported the gateway project as well as the Silent Heroes of the Cold War National Memorial, dedicated the memorial.Nora Rasure, Intermountain Regional Forester, USDA Forest Service, co-dedicated the Spring Mountains Visitor Gateway that is both a destination and portal for visitors.Tom Tidwell, Chief, USDA Forest Service, co-dedicated the world-class Spring Mountains Visitor Gateway.The Nuwuvi Bird Singers provided moving performances during the opening ceremony and later in the day on May 29, 2015. Dignitaries collectively acknowledged the ongoing collaborative work necessary for a project of this magnitude.Guests enjoyed a catered lunch provided by the Forest Service partners.Centerpieces made by local senior citizens groups depicted the site’s slogan: “Your journey starts here.”Several partners hosted booths to help guests understand programs and opportunities.The Nuwuvi Bird Singers gave a performance at the small amphitheater. The Seven Stones Plaza celebrates the seven Southern Paiute tribes known collectively as Nuwuvi (or “the people”)—and their long-standing ancestral relationship with their creation place in the Spring Mountains.Guests enjoyed an art project at the Education Building during the grand opening and throughout the entire late-May weekend.Families of the 14 men who died when Air Force flight 9068 crashed on Mt. Charleston in 1955 had the opportunity to place mementos in the Silent Heroes of the Cold War National Memorial honorary vault before its ceremonial closing.Guests mingled with long-time partners and new acquaintances during the day-long opportunity to enjoy both the site and the special activities.

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