Salem Second Saturday event to recognize veterans
By MARY ANN GREIER
SALEM — This month’s Salem Second Saturday event will focus on veterans in a number of ways, with a revival of the Operation United We Care program, a fund drive for the Salem Honor Guard and posters throughout downtown featuring the newest Marine recruits from the area.
Since it falls the day before Veterans Day, which is officially Sunday although government offices are closed Monday, the program which is a joint effort of the Salem Area Chamber of Commerce and the Downtown Salem Partnership decided to honor veterans with some recognition.
“Our service members and their families give much to our Salem community and our nation. It is an honor to recognize them and to give back. Visit our participating locations in the historic downtown on Salem Second Saturday and show your support for our local veterans,” Sara Baer said.
Baer, who’s a member of DSP, is one of the organizers of Salem Second Saturday.
Operation United We Care was first created in April 2003 by former Tennille’s co-owner Gary Abrams, who’s a Vietnam veteran. The idea was to offer discounts to military personnel and their families and now Salem Second Saturday is bringing it back.
Participating locations will display the United We Care poster “and pledge to offer excellent care and service to current and retired military personnel and their families while shopping or visiting their locations in the historic downtown,” a Salem Second Saturday press release said.
Local businesses wanting to participate can contact the Salem Area Chamber of Commerce for a copy of the United We Care logo and more details about the program. Military personnel and their families can take advantage of special discounts and services wherever the logo is displayed, with each location determining its own method of participation.
A fundraising drive for the Salem Honor Guard will take place also at various locations in the downtown to help out the self-funded group which pays tribute to fallen veterans with a military service. According to a poster advertising the donation drive, the group participates in more than 100 funeral services and patriotic events each year, with donations going to support their travel expenses.
The Salem Honor Guard will participate in any requested funeral service of honorably discharged veterans. Anyone interested should contact a local funeral home director for more information
Also in downtown, display posters created by Bricker Photography will feature new Marine recruits.
“It is a privilege to celebrate those veterans from past generations, thank those who are serving today and admire the men and women who will choose to make the ultimate sacrifice in the future by defending our freedom. November’s Salem Second Saturday is an opportunity for downtown Salem businesses to thank veterans for their service while pledging to respect their commitment to this country every day of the year,” Salem Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Lori Jewell said.
All area residents are welcome to patronize the downtown businesses on Salem Second Saturday, which was created in an effort to drive people to downtown, each month with a different theme.
Visit Salem Second Saturday on Facebook to learn more.