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Administration working to relocate veterans memorial

Shown is the veterans memorial, placed in 1968, in front of the then Salem Area Chamber of Commerce located at the corner of State and Lincoln. (Salem News photo by J.D. Creer)

SALEM — The city administration is working to relocate the veterans memorial from the corner of Lincoln and State to the grounds of city hall.

The intention had always been to move the monument after it was learned the Salem Area Chamber of Commerce Foundation planned to sell the chamber building and land at the highly visible corner leading into downtown.

At the time, the contention was that the small corner piece where the monument stood was city-owned.

Now that the building has been demolished and the property surveyed, it turns out the area in question, which also has a flag pole, is located about a foot and a half on the property owned by Ben Dickey of Armadillo Development, according to city Service/Safety Director Ken Kenst.

The city also learned that the Salem War Memorial Foundation Board, which oversees the Memorial Building, may have an ownership interest in the memorial.

The engraving in the marker says it was erected by the citizens of Salem in 1968 to honor men and women of the community who served in World War II, Korea and Vietnam “preserving freedom and our way of life.”

Mayor John Berlin said the Salem War Memorial Foundation Board recently relinquished any perceived ownership of the monument to the city for placement wherever deemed proper.

Members of the service organizations in the city, including the AMVETS and VFW, also submitted a letter asking for the monument to be relocated to city hall.

Berlin said he received a nice call from the Rock family of Logue Monument expressing a willingness to move the memorial at no charge. Plans are still in the formative stage and Berlin noted that Dickey isn’t pushing them so they have some time for planning the move and making all the necessary arrangements.

He did say the city may have to rent a crane so there may be some cost involved, but at this point he doesn’t know how much.

He said there is money in the administration budget under capital that could be used for that, but he needed to check.

Plans will include moving the flag pole, too.

mgreier@salemnews.net

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