Grant will Help Cover Costs for Memorial Replica

June 13, 2014


by S. Aaron Shamshoyan

A grant from the Lancaster Fund will help cover the cost to bring a large memorial to Salem, paying tribute to fallen soldiers.

Selectmen approved the request Monday for $2,500 by the Salem Veterans Association, which is working to raise nearly $18,000 and bring a Vietnam Memorial replica wall to Grant Field.

We’re expecting a very, very large turnout,” said Douglas Micklon, Salem Veterans Association president.

Mickon said the 300-foot-long wall will arrive by truck October 15, and assembly will take place the following day.

“On October 15, we’re planning to have the wall at the rest area on 93 North in Salem,” he said, adding a police escort would lead the wall to Grant Field.

The memorial, an 80 percent scale replica of the one in Washington, includes police, fire, World War I, and World War II tributes.

“We’re trying to make this a very large town event,” Micklon said, adding the memorial will be open to visitors 24 hours a day.

Selectmen’s Chair Patrick Hargreaves excused himself from the board along with Selectman Stephen Campbell, as they are involved with the association.  Hargreaves initiated the discussion about bringing the memorial to town, and has taken a lead in the fundraising efforts.

“A grant of this type is for a special initiative, special project,” said Selectman James Keller.  “This is very much once in a lifetime.”

Micklon said the wall offered an opportunity for people to see a powerful memorial who may not be able to make the trip to Washington.  “It’s very emotional,” he said.

Selectmen approved the request on the heels of another proposal coming last week which was denied for not meeting withdrawal requirements.

A request from Salem Family Resources – Success by 6 was ultimately rejected when selectmen determined the money would be used as part of the operating budget, which is against guidelines.

The board had previously determined monies would only be used for special projects benefiting the community.